Hi Glen. I agree that subjectively one can massively misinterpret the source of conflict in a story. This usually occurs because the story points are seen as indications of storytelling, not storyforming and/or because the person doing the analysis has their own interpretations of the touch points of narrative.
If the analysts understand Dramatica with accuracy--and don't fall back on the "well, that's just how I see it" defense--then yes, they will come to the same storyform. If you want proof of this, just listen to the latest _La La Land_ podcast--there you will hear me try my hardest to convince everyone that the Story Outcome of the story is Failure.
I know Dramatica better than anyone on this forum, and I still subjectively misinterpreted this story point. Like hugely. I look back on it now and I wonder, "How the heck could I ever see that dream sequence as anything else but a fairy tale?" I was seeing it as an indication of a Story Outcome of Success, but there wasn't an argument being made there -- no one was actually changing their perspective, a requirement for a complete story.
So I was really wrong.
Now, I could have said "Well, that's just how I see it. I have so much more experience than everyone here in the room and I'm entitled to my opinion, besides there really isn't one way to interpret a story" but all that would have done was soothe my ego and ruin the chances of anyone else coming to the storyform in the future of actually finding the most accurate account of story points in the film and thereby improving their understanding of story.
By falling back on feeling good about myself, I would have screwed things up for everyone after me.
But I didn't. I listened to what EXPERTS in the room we're saying--writers who spend a considerable amount of time learning & understanding what Dramatica is all about--and I finally gave in.
Prior to the meeting I uploaded "my" version of the storyform to the Atomizer--a service where I maintain the most accurate catalog of Dramatica storyforms. Did I leave that version up because my subjective interpretation of the film was just as important?? No--because that's silly and completely counter-productive to the whole purpose of offering such a service.
I changed it, recorded why, and now when anyone goes to check into the story points of the film they won't be confused by my mistake.
A Dramatica storyform is not subjective interpretation -- the suggestion that there are "many ways to interpret a story" reveals a deficiency in your understanding of the theory.
Why is "popularizing" Dramatica the purpose here? Are we here to gather up "Likes" and "Hearts"? Or are we here to learn story?
Isn't it more important that writers actually learn to use the theory correctly? Dramatica is not a theory of making writers feel good about themselves, it's a theory of narrative--the most accurate and comprehensive of narrative structure around--IF used correctly.
@MWollaeger already addressed this, but where do you get the idea that you're not free to express your opinions on the Internet? You definitely have the right to be hugely wrong about Dramatica--and we have the right to point it out so that writers new to the theory or those struggling with it come to a better understanding of the theory.
9/10 this is an indication that you are misinterpreting a story point or you are projecting your life experience onto the story. The rare moments when that isn't the case, writers are encouraged to write in here and find a defensible explanation as to why they argue with the storyform. Occasionally the official storyforms are changed to reflect that (The Sixth Sense, Captain America:Civil War, The Terminator) but more often than not the one doing the challenging often learns something about Dramatica that they misunderstood.
The end game for this is mass confusion and dissolution of the accuracy of the model. The "authorities" here are persuasive because they're required to defend their perspective. They're also completely open to being dissuaded if a convincing argument is presented to them--see the aforementioned La La Land. Come to think of it, the Ida podcast is another one that I totally missed the Main Character Resolve, but again--I'm more than willing to see with better eyes because the storyform is infinitely more important than my own self-worth.
This idea of "alternative interpretations" also makes everything think they can come up with whatever they want--they certainly can, they just can't call it Dramatica. The "there isn't one way to interpret a story" defense always indicates a person who refuses to learn.
Putting views into the "marketplace" is one thing - being able to defend them consistently and coherently is another. Putting the label of "Dramatica" on it when it is grossly inaccurate does a disservice to other writers. It leads them down the wrong path, fooling themselves into thinking they're using Dramatica when really they're just inventing their own theory--no better off than they were without it.
Definitely. Dramatica has the ability to help improve the quality of storytelling if the theory is actually used as intended.