Warning: This may be the worst storyform and story idea you ever read.
Hey all, I wanted to try and write a short story using Dramatica. To be honest, I already wrote a draft of it because I figured I ought to give it a try before asking for advice. Now I want to see if it's possible to re-write and make it a stronger story. Probably need to fix the storyform too, idk. It's a simple idea, I don't want to attempt anything complex.
Again, it's so... simple. Also, I suck at writing and Dramatica. But here we go.
So I know for a short story you want to try and cut stuff. Cut out a throughline or something. For my first draft I decided to get an idea of the full storyform and then attempt to illustrate all the signposts. I never really got around to attempting the RS signposts though, due to my weak understanding of them. Maybe cutting it will help make the story shorter?
So here was my idea for the storyform:
MC: Situation/Universe. In this weird town, people are randomly given names. There's like a list of names yours can be chosen from. The MC happens to get a name like "Criminal Robber". So, he has a stupid name in a town full of crazy prejudiced people.
IC: Seeing as the MC is Universe, that puts the IC's in Mind. My idea is that the rest of the town serves as the IC. A bunch of prejudiced people telling him he's gonna grow up to be... well, y'know, a criminal robber. Telling him he's a bad person.
OS: This is rough. The idea is something like "getting people to Understand that someone named Criminal Robber doesn't have to be a bad person". Physics. It seems like it may be too similar to the MC throughline, but I don't know for sure.
RS: Psychology. I don't even know...
My idea was: "Townsfolk drive an innocent man insane because of his unusual name." In the end, he Changes to accept their perspective and becomes a criminal robber. That's Bad. And the story ends in Failure, he fails to get them to learn that he doesn't have to be a bad person.
The Issues: If you didn't think this idea was silly enough yet...
OS: Instinct. The people are instinctually prejudiced against him- and since this is the Physics domain- they have this group of people get together frequently to try and blame Criminal Robber for things he didn't do.
MC: Fate. Everyone is sure he's going to one day become a criminal robber. This is a problem for him, since he's trying not to become a criminal, but just live a normal life.
IC: Truth. They impact him by holding steadfast in their personal truths and beliefs in him being a bad man, and one day becoming a criminal robber.
Problems: Should I even go this far? I clearly don't understand short stories. I figure I might as well imagine it as a full storyform first, right?
MC: I like Knowledge as a problem. "That which one holds to be true". The people of this town have very different truths compared to Criminal Robber's on who he is and who he'll become. This sets Order as the Symptom. The people here are obsessed with Order and the idea of keeping Criminal Robber from disturbing that Order. His response is to help them prevent any form of Chaos and show he is not Chaotic. He even attends one of their club meetings where they come up with ideas to frame him. By the end of the story he adopts the solution: Thought. He considers that maybe he really is a problem. He really is a bad person. Some people are just destined (Fated) to be bad.
Anyways, the Signposts are:
MC 1: The Past. Criminal Robber is judged for the name he received in the past. He decides he won't let people tell him who he is.
IC 1: The Preconcious/Impulsive Responses. They impulsively judge him. This seems awfully simple, but it is supposed to end up being a short story. I mean, y'know, it's basically people blame him for stuff he didn't do and whatnot.
OS 1: I think the the story driver is the Action of him Obtaining his name. He then literally tries to trade away his name. How did I come up with this? Lol.
OS 2: Doing. He notices they are coming up with even wilder ideas of how to frame him for things he didn't do. There's even a weekly club meeting.
IC 2: Subconscious/Innermost Desires. The town has become obsessed with framing him. They even have that weekly club meeting.
MC 2: Progress. He tries to change the town's perspective of him. He even attends one of their club meetings.
OS 3: Learning. He has made a little progress, someone even dares to send him brownies. However, the club has done some detective work and discovers/learns about the possibly one illegal thing Criminal Robber has ever done.
MC 3: The Future. At court, he accepts his fate for this crime, but still argues that he's not all bad. That there's hope for someone like him. That he deserves a future. Nobody really cares or listens.
IC 3: The Conscious: They don't even consider his argument or perspective.
OS 4: Understanding. He's released from prison many years later. He hopes now it's possible for people to Understand him, to Understand he doesn't have to a bad guy. But everyone remembers him. Remembers what they thought of him. And he's judged.
MC 4: The Present. He takes a look at the world around him. He thinks about who he could be: Anyone he wants. He has a choice. Then he looks at the people around him, judging. Telling him he's bad. It clicks in his head. Maybe he really is bad? And then, of course... he robs a bank to fulfill his title/name.
IC 4: They remember him. Their negative perspective of him. And when he's gone- when he gives in to the idea that he's bad- there's maybe a flicker of regret in this town. That they turned an innocent man bad. But the people move on, and cover up his Memory with lies.
I know I'm insane for even writing any of this. Haha. But I figure, you can't learn anything without at least trying. Without learning from your mistakes. So any advice you can see I need here would be of much help.
Btw: I originally had Learning as the Story Goal. It was bugging me a lot. For some reason, due to a past storyform, I must've thought it was locked in as Learning and I had no other choice. Thank goodness I changed it to Understanding. From now on I need to listen to that nagging feeling that something is wrong with my storyforms. Understanding works so much better.