Story Reception is the 4th Signpost when it comes to the space between Author and Audience—the one the Author has little to no control over. The effectiveness of the reception differs for every individual, e.g. the Audience member could have been in a bad mood, sick, or distracted and therefore received the story different from others.
This is why the Users Group process is so effective—by minimalizing inaccuracies brought on by subjective experience and looking towards the collective appreciation of different story points one can come to a better understanding of Author’s intent—of the message they want to get across.
By Authors intent I don’t mean the Author necessarily sits down and says, “How can I make this Story Judgment of Good work?”, but rather they have some reasonable amount of purpose for writing the story and that can be appreciated through the various story points.
In #1, I didn’t mean to imply that reaction is the basis for the Story Judgment as that again, would be erring towards the subjective. What I meant was that you should look to the overwhelming majority as indication that you might be wrong about the Story Judgment.
I know Dramatica really well and can figure out the best, most accurate storyform for any narrative 99% of the time. Occasionally, the collective will find fault and when enough do, that is always a sign to me that I might have received the story wrong. I go back, reevaluate, and usually come to the conclusion that I was off and I adjust my understanding.
You remember Captain America I’m sure—tons of back and forth over Throughlines, etc. No one yet has come forth to support your appreciation of Story Judgment Bad. If enough did, I would be back in the theater tomorrow to reassess.
So I apologize if there are any logical inconsistencies, I’m trying to explain this the best way I know how.
That would indicate a deficiency on your part to accurately communicate a Story Judgment of Good (not that I think you remotely possess this issue). If enough people aren’t hearing what you’re saying, then you aren’t doing a good enough job aligning yourself with methods and processes of problem-solving that they can recognize (the Storymind concept).
I haven’t seen Dark Tower but I assume it wasn’t received well because it failed to accurately communicate a functioning storyform.
That, to me, would indicate that the Author was trying to say that Remaining Steadfast in this context (in regards to some Problem element) results in a Personal Tragedy (Success/Bad).
It’s not a moral judgment of the Outcome and Judgment, i.e. it was a “good” thing that he sacrificed himself in order to save the world, but rather a Judgment on the emotional implications of Remaining Steadfast—within the context of the storyform.
That’s why you can’t look at one story point individually—you have to appreciate them all at once for it to have any meaning. That’s the “religious” moment Wollaeger referred to another post—it’s not really spiritual but rather a recognition of the holistic relationship between all the Story Points at once.
So yes, in The Dark Knight it was a “good” thing that Wayne became the villain in order to save Gotham—but in context of the storyform, in regards to the switch from Process to Result that switch is deemed a Bad thing.
You can totally do this. It’s once you start trying to argue the implied story points based on this selection that you’ll find your argument starts to lose coherency.
It just so happens—and I don’t think this is coincidence—that the means by which you describe K’s Throughline PEEFECTLY matches up with the storyform I know most accurately describes this film.
My confidence lies in the confirmation of others (you) who pretty much make convincing arguments for various story points even without knowing the storyform.
It’s almost like there is this shared method for approximating Inequity that everyone possesses. Now if only someone would come along and detail the various points by which these assessments are made...
If they understood what Dramatica meant by Story Judgment, they wouldn’t say it was Bad.
I can copy and paste it again:
And that word would be Conceptualizing. Constantly adapting to make the other happy? That would be the Relationship Story Problem of Change. State of Being as an Issue? One is real. One is simulated. Their essential natures make it almost impossible for them to be together.
I’m not speaking in what if’s—I’m concretely defining what the problems are in their relationship.
And they perfectly sync up with problems and concerns in the other Throughlines. Which is how I know I’m not fooling myself as to the true nature of the story’s inequity as seen from that perspective—by virtue of the implied Story Points.
Of course a writer can be purposefully ambiguous. Unfortunately, when you take into account the totality of the other story points not specifically tied into an ambiguous ending like, say, Story Judgment, it becomes less unknown.
There is enough information—Signpost order, Benchmarks, and Requirements—that firmly set Nolan’s Judgment on Leonard’s decision to Remain Steadfast in regards to his Main Character Problem of Ability. Regardless of how ambiguous he wanted to be (and I actually feel that ambiguity is encoded in the storyform as described prior) the Judgment still comes across as Bad.
Knowing the other story points we can’t help but imply a Bad Judgment.
It’s like this: if you drew a smiley face, and drew everything but one eye—the Audience, or person looking at that drawing—would automatically fill in that blank space with the missing eye. We can’t help but fill in that Inequity.
Same thing with story points in a storyform.
Doesn’t matter if the original artist intended that eye to be filled in or not—something is going in there.
The great thing about Dramatica and its implied story points is that you no longer have to guess what will be filled in there.
Back to K and the conversation regarding Story Judgment (and the discussion of next week’s podcast!), you will find different Benchmarks and Requirements based on that choice of Good or Bad.
Just like the order of Signposts carry with them an implication of Success or Failure, the means by which we evaluate the level of Concern in each Throughline (Benchmarks) carries with it an implication of Good or Bad.
The choices left at the end strongly suggest a Judgment of Good which again, confirms the appreciation of the collective. Enough people recognize a Good Judgment because enough information exists to support that emotional assessment.