Chapter 19: Dramatica: Out of Balance
"In fact, the temporal journey around the quad is a progression and every time we move even mentally from one quad to the next we also get a vertical rise."
(Dramatica fudges this a bit)..."Since we mentally treat each item in the quad as being on the same plane as the next, we get an easier understanding of it, but by the time we get to the fourth item (in the quad), we've been sweeping that vertical rise under the carpet until it has risen up so much that we can't ignore it any more. So, we do a course-correction and throw ALL that vertical extra stuff into the fourth and final item in the quad. That, by the way, is why many quads seem to have three items that are quite similar and one that seems kind of out of left field, like "Past, Present Future--and hmm, Progress. - Progress doesn't quite fit because it is picking up all that vertical material in one quadrant."
--Melanie Anne Phillips
Representing it horizontally, the pink fourth member of the quad rises up higher than the others, on the way to the level of the next quad in the progression (remember the rise comes from TIME or PROGRESS or ORDER, however you want to think about it).
Here, the left spiral shows how Dramatica IDEALLY would rise evenly, the right quad shows how it in fact rises: 3 components on an even plane, suppressing their rise, and then all the rise packed into the fourth quadrant pushed up the spiral as a result.
and just so we understand where the quads are in the right hand spiral:
Notice how there's a tension between the elements and the rise of the spiral, as if the elements were resisting the rise, then bursting up in the 4th element.
Elsewhere, Melanie discusses it like this: that the first three elements are directly related to the Variation of the quadrant, rather than shading away from it as they would in a truly vertical rise: so, by the end of that , the 4th element is now pulling HEAVILY towards the next quad, and sits uneasily in the quad where Dramatica groups it. The tidal pull of the next quad in the progression is heavily felt.
You could show that idea like this:
I found this bit from Melanie's writings to be one of the most clarifying so far.
NOTE: I'm having a lot of fun doing this, but once again have to note that this is just renditions of Chris's and Melanie's work. It's been in their books for years and I highly recommend reading them. I do this because I am utterly incapable of internal visualization of this sort of thing. If I don't sketch it out and 'see' it, the words are lost on me. I'm using Omnigraffle from the Omni Group, in case anyone is interested. Use it all the time, not just for this but for many technical, structural thingies.
I'm amazed at this: you can almost open the books, or the articles, at random, and find food for thought. Helps to pitch me into Dramatica land when it's time to right...or maybe I'm using the theory as an excuse not to right meh heh heh.
Anyway, I am HOPING that this all gets so burned into my head that I can then do that second or third reading of the books where I can vizualize the stuff AFTER the easy stuff. You know, the thinks (spelled as intended) you only get from a book after you already know the basics. I'm looking forward to that.