What does Dramatica consider a Story Dilemma?
In Dramatica, a Dilemma is an unsolvable problem. A solvable problem is called Work. When you combine the Main Character's Resolve to Change or remain Steadfast with the Story Outcome of Success or Failure, you get the Dramatica story point called Nature. This story point describes what the core problem looks like from the AUDIENCE's perspective, not the author's. It is one of Dramatica's four "audience appreciations" found in the Dramatica Pro Story Points window, and influences how your story is received by an audience.
Use this special audience appreciation story point as a way to approach your story from the audience's perspective. Nature has four possible settings:
- Actual Dilemma
- Apparent Dilemma
- Actual Work
- Apparent Work
ACTUAL DILEMMA = CHANGE + SUCCESS When a Main Character changes and the Overall Story Outcome is successful, the audience believes the Main Character had a real unsolvable problem and had to change for things to work out for everyone.
APPARENT DILEMMA = CHANGE + FAILURE When a Main Character changes and the Overall Story Outcome is a failure, the audience believes that it only seemed like the Main Character should change, when in reality he shouldn't have.
ACTUAL WORK = STEADFAST + SUCCESS When a Main Character remains steadfast and the Overall Story Outcome is successful, the audience believes the Main Character had the right idea and just needed to work at it long enough for things to fall into place for everyone else.
APPARENT WORK = STEADFAST + FAILURE When a Main Character remains steadfast and the Overall Story Outcome is a failure, the audience believes that the Main Character should have changed instead of "staying the course" because working at the problem in the same way would not lead to a successful outcome.