If you're talking about GCD theory, disaster is a technical term meaning 'something happens you weren't counting on.' It's a Disaster if you get rich and it upsets your plans and you have to change direction, stopping a life of enslavement and beginning a life of luxury and philanthropy and universal recognition. If you look at it from the Dramatica Theory perspective, it's an element in a quad with a possible negative or positive charge.
I'm looking at how it lines up with Dramatica. There are two quads:
and then in Sequel:
The Sequel Quad (from GCD theory) lines up pretty perfectly with the stuff on scene in the Dramatica Theory book and in Jim's writings.
My main reference is Jack Bickham's book, and my audios of Dwight Swain.
I realize it's generally discouraged to discuss other theories here, mainly because it's not helpful to discussing others trying to understand the difficulties of Dramatica Theory, so I'll refrain from further thoughts on this here. But there inevitably have to be overlaps with bits and pieces of the...what would I call them as a whole? I think I would call them "Guild Theories" that are out there, that are kind of like the passing of knowledge from a Guild member to an apprentice when that was how the whole world worked. Nuggets of timeworn practice. Dramatica is a horse of a different color.
Hmm this may be worth an article on Medium though...