A Testimonial...I did a thing

I did a conflict workshop earlier this month. Here is the testimonial I got back from one of the participants.

I came, I saw, I learned, I had a little fun.
I attended the 9 Bridges Conflict Workshop led by Diane XXXXX on December 14 of 2019. The
format was informal and accessible, with a flexible structure that accommodated our group’s questions,
digressions, and attempts at sidetracking our host. I’d say that most of length of the workshop consisted of
lecture and discussion, but time was also allotted for interactive exercises that illustrated the concepts
being addressed. Topics ranged from the definitions and concepts of literary conflict to practical
implementations and stages of conflict as a narrative progresses.
In particular, I’d like to highlight the exercises we engaged in surrounding the aforementioned
stages of conflict. Using a Somebody-Wanted-But-So-Then prompt, we generated a rudimentary story
and conflict outline which we then broke down using the Dramatica Table of Story Elements. I’ll admit to
being skeptical, in general, of the utility or instructional value of attempting to break down/tear
apart/analyze/impose structure onto art, of which prose fiction is a subset. However, that said, I was
damn-near shocked at how well the D.T.S.E. helped clarify the stages of conflict present in the plot
outlines our group generated. I think the aforementioned analytical practices may have greater utility than
I’d previously thought—thank you, Diane.
So anyway, at the end of the workshop, I felt that I’d both learned something and enjoyed doing
it. And I can’t ask for more than that.


Sounds like you really knocked it out of the park!

What was the experience like for you as an instructor? I’ve always found walking someone through Dramatica concepts face-to-face really rewarding.


This was the 2nd time I’ve taught this conflict workshop, but the first time I’d incorporated quite so much Dramatica. But I’d just gotten my christmas present (pictured below) and it seemed a shame not to make use of it. Basically what I did was put the poster on the table and tell them all to pic a quad that “felt” like the story skeleton they’d put together.

I did a sample before each step and I told them to decide on which piece of the quad they wanted to end the story with first.

It’s was a cool experience but seriously ran long, like nearly 4 hours. I’d like to do it again but find a way to cut it in half.

Oops forgot the pic.

DTSE Poster


So awesome. Congratulations!


Oh one more thing.
@jhull or @chuntley

I’m not sure which of you handles things like this but there is typo on the structure chart. It says for instead of four. Just thought you’d like to know. :slight_smile:


Thanks! Yes, we always want to know about typos so we can correct them the next iteration.



Do you plan to do your workshop online at some point (hint!)?


Oh…uh…I hadn’t thought about trying to do it online. I’m not sure how I’d go about it. Ideas?

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I’ve taken a few online workshops that are mainly in a writing forum setting. I don’t recommend that since it lacks the dynamism of a class. On the plus side, it allows loads of flexibility if you assign deadlines over a period of time. I’ve been in Yahoo Groups for the writing only ones.

Personally, I really like the way Jim uses Zoom to meet once a week and teach the lesson and discuss. Then, we could all go away and do some work and come back to share a week later. Something like that.

Or, if you prefer to do a full day with workshopping online, there could be zoom breaks.

Just a few ideas.