I am freaking out right now, but in the best way possible. I’ve been trying to revise this novel for years now, and over the last few weeks, I’ve been looking to Dramatica to help me figure out what’s actually missing form the story and what needs to be adjusted or rearranged. But I’ve been having trouble finding the right storyform (as you can probably tell from some of my other posts). I finally found one that I’m very happy with the other day, and I’ve been working on trying to identify the different concerns and issues in the story. Then I thought back to one of @jhull’s recent responses on the board, and looked at it again today. I used his example of PRCO and the opening scene he wrote about as a kind of guide for figuring out where the elements come up in my own story. And I just realized another reason why I’ve been having so much trouble when it comes to finding the storyform.
It turns out that I’ve been looking at my story and trying to match the events of the story to the elements, variations, and concerns of the storyform – without taking storyweaving into account. As I was looking at how the elements under the variations for my first Overall Story signpost could be illustrated in my specific story, I was seeing where the dramatic circuits where happening, and even how one quad was leading to the next. But in the back of my head, I kept saying, “Yeah, this is all in the story, but it happens before the story starts.” It wasn’t until I got to the Current of the second quad that I started seeing the actual “beginning” of my story. And once I got to the third quad, it finally dawned on me. I’ve been looking at storyweaving and trying to make it fit the plot progression exactly, only to wonder why none of my scenes and sequences and acts fit the storyform.
This has been driving me nuts, because I was getting down on myself for writing such a broken story. Yet, it finally dawned on me that there had to be some kind of argument to my story, because people keep… liking… it…
So I took some advice from a writer friend and looked at the themes that my beta readers where getting from reading the story. And not only was I able to find the right storyform, but in looking more closely – and objectively – at the first three variations in the Overall Story, I was able to see that, contrary to my lamenting, I do have all four throughlines in place. I simply need to make them more cohesive within the story.
So… yeah… I am super excited right now. Just thought I’d share, in case anyone else needs some inspiration or something.