How do I write a short story with Dramatica?

Do you have a step by step procedure on how to write short stories with Dramtica? I want to write shorts with Dramatica and I get lost trying to translate long format to short. It would be nice to have a special tutorial or guide specifically to do short formats with Dramatica. Can you help this struggling writer?

Have you tried using the Short Story structure template that comes with the software (located in the Structure Templates folder)? That might give you some of the assistance you're looking for.

Though Dramatica is admittedly overkill for short story work, the key to using it for short stories is to limit the scope or depth of the story development to fit the "size" of the short story. Another technique is to touch on the various story points but only with a word, phrase, or sentence.

Here's an exercise you can use for creating a short story:

  • Pick any quad in the Dramatica structural chart, such as Truth-Falsehood-Suspicion-Evidence.
  • Note where that quad is in the chart, for example the above quad is connected to Memory and Fixed Attitude as well as the sixteen elements beneath them.
  • Pick one of the items in the quad as the topic you want to explore most thematically, for example Truth.
  • Note the elements beneath the chosen item, such as Knowledge-Thought-Perception-Actuality
  • Assign each of those items in the quad below your chosen topic in the chosen quad to characters. In this example, you will have a Knowledge character, a Thought character, a Perception character, and an Actuality character. You can keep them extremely simplistic, or use the archetypes that embody those characteristics to populate your story, though doing so may complicate your story beyond its short story limitations.
  • Pick an order for the quad items in the chosen quad, e.g. Suspicion-Falsehood-Evidence-Truth. This will become the "act" order for your short story. Start off exploring the first item, move to the next, the next, and finish with the last. This assumes a limited throughline approach to the story.
  • An alternative method is to assign a throughline to each of the items in the quad, e.g. Suspicion is the Main Character throughline, Falsehood is the Overall Story, Evidence is the Impact Character throughline, and Truth is the MC/IC throughline. Explore the "argument" by exploring the perspective using their unique contexts.
  • Play around with the relationships between the items and the structural levels.

Using Dramatica this way is very imprecise, but may help narrow Dramatica's materials to a manageable level.

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