Character Motivations

How can I effectively illustrate the different character interactions?

It says by highlighting a Character that has been assigned to the grid in character builder [The Build Characters window in the Dramatica Pro and Writer's DreamKit software], you can see a basic description of that characters dramatic relationship.

But if two characters are in a scene and one has hinder and the other as Logic (motivation grid and thus are not adjacent) according to Dramatica there is No character interaction between there character traits or should I say Dramatica can not represent this.

The interaction of character elements makes the most sense when interacting elements within a single quad. Describing interactions between character elements from different quads is fine, but there won't seem to be a lot of identifiable ground for conflict other than general agreement or disagreement.

So, don't feel inhibited from interacting any elements. It creates interesting storytelling.

You can show personal information about characters other than the MC and IC, but beware. When you begin to create personal experiences with OS Characters, your audience will be inclined to see them as MC's. This is fine if your creating substories for these characters. However, if you're not, you run the potential of confusing your audience.

CAVEAT: This seeming limitation is only regarding the Grand Argument Story that you are telling. Digressions and substories are open to all sorts of exploration--personally or impersonally. Just make sure YOU don't get confused so your audience doesn't get confused.

Do I really need all 64 character elements in my story?

I've been working for some time now on my current script and I have a question that probably only you can answer. I seem to be having a really hard time getting a handle on the number of elements in the 64 Element Set that should be used in creating my chatacters.... I would appreciate if you could enlighten me on this.

"In a perfect world..." every character element would be represented and interacted with every other element.

"In a minimalist world..." the four character elements in the quad that contains the problem element will interact.

The "real" world exists somewhere between the two.

Generally speaking, it's best to describe the interactions of elements in quads (4), sets (16 elements), chess sets (64 elements), or super sets (256 elements = all elements in the four domains). The reason this is a generalization comes from the fact that the qualities that define ANY quad are similar. The difference is the "shading" and levels of subtlety. The more elements, the greater the subtlety. The reason for trying to keep to the factors of "4" is to maintain a semblance of balance. If you explore 12 of the 16 motivation elements, your argument to the audience is going to seem off balance. IF you only argue four, the argument will appear balanced but shallow.

Another factor is the type of finished work in which your story is to be written. A novel has far more "real estate" to explore story nitty-gritty of character element interactions than a screenplay. A screenplay has more room than a short story. A short story has more room than a ballad. Very often the form in which you tell a story may dictate how much time and space you have to tell it.

About the Examples

When analyzing someone else's work, it's often difficult to identify every bit of the author's intent. Big stuff, such as Story Goal or Main Character Problem might be easy, but dissecting the Overall Story Characters is often little more than guess work. Our example files try to identify the character elements where intent could be identified. Where it was unclear or conflicted, we left the elements blank. It's important to keep in mind that Dramatica's tools are just that--tools. Use them to fix things that aren't working properly or to tune them up. Don't trying fixing aspects of your story that aren't "broken." Just because you have a hammer does not mean everything is a nail.

How do I work the character information Dramatica provides into my story?

I am using Dramatica to write a novel and have some questions. How do I use all the character information that I put in at the beginning of the program? Do I need to print out the information and just plug it in as I write chapters? Do I eventually just print out everything I put in your program and write the novel using my word processor?

Anything you put into Dramatica you can export via the reports. You are correct in identifying that Dramatica is a place to develop your ideas and materials, but eventually you will write the finished work in your word processor.

Most of Dramatica's topics ask you to describe story elements in a single place. However, those descriptions may be broken down into bits and pieces which are sprinkled throughout your story. How you use what you've written in Dramatica in your finished work completely depends on what you've written.

Some writers use Dramatica to jot ideas and notes--just enough so that they know how they're going to illustrate the story points. When it comes to writing, they use their notes as guidelines but do not incorporate much of the material itself.

Other writers go into great depth in their descriptions. When it comes to writing the finished work, they copy and paste portions of the materials they've written which become part of the finished work itself. These are just two of the many ways that Dramatica users work with the material they've developed in the Dramatica software.

Why is my character driven by Consider yet their motivation is Faith?

I'm working with Dramatica. In character building, my Influence Character has been assigned the Faith motivation. However, I am now doing Level Two IC Illustrating, and it's telling me my Influence Character is driven by Consider. Backtracking to Characters, I've reconfirmed that my Influence Character is still assigned Faith. Am I missing something?

How is this possible? Can I do anything about it, and if not -- how will this affect my story?

The Influence Character throughline and the Overall Story throughline are two different perspectives in the story; two different contexts within which to solve problems. A player will host both the Influence Character in the IC throughline and an Overall Story character (such as the archetype of sidekick) in the Overall Story throughline. The context within which an Influence Character is driven differs from the context within which the Overall Story characters find their motivation.

So, we look to the IC Problem to see what is at work to drive the Influence Character. We look at the motivation elements in the Overall Story throughline to identify what drives the Overall Story characters.

What do you do about it? Nothing. When you are illustrating the IC Throughline, describe the IC's drive based on his or her problem element. When describing how the overall story character (the one that shares the same player as the IC) is driven, use the elements assigned in the Build Characters window (such as Faith).