How to Import a Story into Dramatica

Q: Up to now, I've written in a linear fashion, beginning to end. I'm trying to change that, and I've invested in a copy of Dramatica after playing with the trial version. I'm excited by the whole concept and can't wait to get started. What I can't seem to find, however, is information on how to import existing documents into Dramatica. I have several novels started (in MS Word) and I've got 10 to 40 thousand words down for each one. How do I get them into Dramatica so I can start working with them? Can I import an entire document, or do I have to cut and paste itty bitty pieces?
A: I recommend against trying to import your novel into Dramatica. Dramatica is designed to get you thinking about your story more deeply and completely, but is not designed as the place to write your finished work. As such, I recommend using Dramatica to tease out those areas with which you have difficulty. You do this by approaching your story by what you know best, first. Then Dramatica helps you by suggesting how other parts of your story may work toward supported those choices. Use the "fill-in-the-blank" type questions in Dramatica to jot down your ideas on the topic, but not to write full-on prose. By keeping your answers simple, you risk less if you decide to make substantive dramatic changes to your story's storyform (the underlying dramatics of the story). The process is akin to working on a house's blueprint, or a garment pattern, or a food recipe. It is best to get down to basics while working in the software and then, once you are comfortable with the foundation, flesh it out for presentation. At that point, take what you've done in Dramatica and go back to your word processor to begin the rewriting.

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