The feeling of drama is a completely subjective appreciation and will differ from audience member to audience member. This is not a Dramatica storyform. What you describe is covered under Audience Reception and is the furthest thing removed from the storyform, the furthest distance from writer to audience (closest to audience). So you have:
writer Storyforming -> StoryEncoding -> StoryWeaving -> StoryReception -> audience
That is the journey from writer to audience.
As a writer you're primarily interested in StoryReception. That is your strength and probably 90%-95% the reason for the favorable reactions from your audience. You care about their experience and you adjust your story to make this as wonderful an experience as possible.
This is your process or experience of writing a story with Dramatica.
Your personal experience of creating a story with Dramatica generates all kinds of emotional attachments that are not found in the storyform itself. You're projecting the emotional vitality you're seeking onto the storyform. It's like seeing the Virgin Mary in a potato chip or on a tree trunk--your mind is warping what you see to give you what you want.
Over here, on this side of the keyboard, we can't guess as to what you consider most favorable or most important when it comes to the meaning of the story. We can come up with our own interpretations, our own ideas of what makes a story work, and then put them out for others to witness--
--but then we're just returning to the Tower of Babel that existed before Dramatica.
The "sterility" of the analysis you point to is another indication of your opinion and personal feelings. These feelings are not shared by everyone. There are those of us who get quite excited about the prospect of Raiders having two storyforms -- it explains the bittersweet ending and persistent idea that there are five or six Acts in the film. Same with Empire - another film almost impossible for people to quantify--until now.
I don't think it's a coincidence that both films were written by the same person.
The sterility is needed to remove one's subjective emotional response from the film in order to better understand the underlying narrative dynamics. If we relied on what we feel is important, we never would have been able to make that same connection between those two films.
In regards to this blind taste test idea--many of us who participate in the Users Group meeting come up with the storyform before we even arrive at the meeting. If you listen to them over the last year, you'll note that we arrive at a storyform far earlier than we ever had before.
I used to have something I would call the 8:30 wall. I even have a picture of it I drew somewhere. The analysis always starts at 7pm. We identify Throughlines, Character Dynamics and Plot Dynamics. Things would always be swimming along until that clock struck 8:30--and then, all of a sudden, someone would run up against some preconception they had about narrative structure--something they couldn't resonate with their personal experience of writing and listening to a story.
We would then spend upwards of 30-45 minutes helping that person unravel their personal justifications.
That 8:30 wall doesn't exist anymore. In fact, by 8:30 we usually have the entire storyform all figured out.
This is the result of years and years of study and experience with the "sterile" process of finding the narrative DNA of story.
The blind taste test, while something I'm willing to do if it will somehow create greater understanding, is non-productive in the long run.
At the last meeting, both @crayzbrian and I had the same storyform for The Accountant. We didn't do it together, but as the meeting was going on I looked over his shoulder to see what answers he got (just like in high school!).
We had the same exact storyform except for the Story Limit.
Does that mean the storyforming process is not objective? What's the margin of error allowed?
While we differed on that, we both completely missed the idea of two storyforms within that overly complex and convoluted film. If you watch the film, it's basically one long explanation as to why everything happened. This convoluted nature is the result of two storyforms pressed into a 2-hour time period. Kasdan had the talent and skills to know what to leave out and what not, the writers behind The Accountant not so much.
Realizing that we missed something--that's a valuable educational experience. It opened up this idea to me of always looking for the emotional argument and change of perspective first before looking at Throughlines. It also generated a spark of inspiration regarding the Crucial Element (as this is tied into the previous concept) and its importance in defining a storyform (The Narrative Argument feature in the Atomizer).
As far as blind taste tests go, I'm willing to do it. I just need to know what would be enough of a sample set to put this challenge to bed.
And if you asked whether or not Luke Skywalker Changed or Remained Steadfast in Return of the Jedi, the majority of people would say that he changed. Or if you asked who was the Protagonist of Casablanca, the majority of people would say Rick.
Dramatica uses familiar words in order to get as closest as it can to what it is really trying to describe. There is no easy "get" for the emotional argument tied up in the Relationship Story Throughline found in the English language--the closest we can come up with is the "heart of the story".
So yes, many would say the relationship between Indy and Marion is the heart of the story, the same way they would say Indy is the Protagonist (even though he is for only ONE of the storyforms).
Defining the Relationship Story Throughline as the "heart of the story" doesn't really mean anything when it comes to defining the underlying dynamics of a narrative. It's a close approximation--but I think this is a great example of where feelings and opinion break down in the final analysis.
Marion does not offer an alternative approach to solving problems. This is the defining aspect of the Influence Character Throughline perspective. My feelings and subjective experience of a film tell me that she is important--but when I really step back and think about it--and really look to what is being argued through the narrative--she has no place.
That's what is meant by gaining objectivity through the Dramatica storyform.
True, no one wants to read or experience a Dramatica storyform. That's why we have writers--to bring that argument to life. It's the same reason we need chefs. The ingredients aren't interesting--we need the craft and ability of the chef to put them together into something memorable and long-lasting. We need someone to make us a meal--
--in the same way we need a writer to make us a story.
There's likely a difference between what you consider meaningful and meaning. To bring this full circle: Meaningful is the meal and is under StoryReception--how the story "tastes". Meaning is the ingredients and is under StoryForming--what the story is about.
Dramatica is concerned with meaning. The writer is concerned with the meal.
Me too - you think I do this for fun?! This is all going in my book, Letters to Sebastien, or How the Marvel Comic Book Movies Drove Me to a Complete Nervous Breakdown.