Any thoughts on Storyweaver?

Anyone have any thoughts on Storyweaver and how best to use? In conjunction with Dramatica? Before finding a storyform, or after? Looks like a slightly different approach to Dramatica. Just curious what others have to say about it. I’m about to start playing around with it, I think.

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@Gregolas I own both of them. They are similar, yet quite different. Storyweaver is more focused on helping you come up with a nice concept and the entire process of creation. In simpler words it caresses and encourages the muse in a gentle way. Dramatica gives you the cold bare bones approach. This works for some authors. So figure out if you have a solid idea first before you take on Dramatica. I find that I’m using Dramatica all the way through for my story. I personally prefer the cold scientific approach. Storyweaver (to the best of my knowledge) seems more geared toward the novel medium. So my work flow is to use Dramatica to structure everything, then use Storyweaver for certain beats like the Character intro’s and dismissals and some of the other novel-centric type expositions. Hope this helps.

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Thanks for the reply! I like to write for novels and short stories, so I think that’s what appealed to me about Storyweaver. I’ve been studying Dramatica for a while and have written some “practice” stories with it and have finished one longer work and am working on another.

My process with Dramatica has been to get to where I can fill in all the Sign Post and Journey info with everything I think they need, put them in roughly the order I think they need to appear, use that info to create a detailed list of every event, moment, thought, action, or any other bit of information I think needs to appear, turn THAT list into an outline, and then use the outline to create a first draft. I’m sure I could skip from putting the SP and Journey info in order to trying to write an outline, but it’s just not how I’ve done it. So I liked the way Storyweaver walks you through all the acts with beginning, middle, end and that sort of thing. I think I’d like to start in Dramatica and go until I have all the Sign Posts filled out, and then switch over to Storyweaver to start putting everything in order.

It also looked like Storyweaver had sections for your Story Goal and Consequences and such pretty early on which hopefully will help me to focus on the big picture of solving the problem, and not making sure that one section relates very specifically to the Past while another relates very specifically to Memories. Like the Dramatica experts say, no one comes to a story for a perfect structure. While it’s nice as the author to know which part of your story is the Past and which is Memories, no one that reads it is going to care. I’d like to get away from thinking about how I’m going to perfectly fit in the Plot Sequence Report and all 64 elements exactly the way they’re supposed to be. While all that stuff is fun, it takes a long time and takes me away from getting a work completed. So also I’m hoping Storyweaver will help me put things in order and get everything I need while not worrying about all that.


Indeed it will. What I feel is that the Signposts help with a strong sense of direction. Other really good things to do would be to read the top 3-5 works from top authors in your chosen genre. This would help give you an inner sense of how the exposition of the signposts will go. I’m writing an epic fantasy, so I’ve gobbled works from my favorite author Brandon Sanderson. And also Patrick Rothfuss. Another thing to note in Storyweaver is that it also walks you through on exposition. For a novelist, that is invaluable. Dramatica does this also. But Storyweaver is tailored for the novelist in my opinion. Good luck with your writing.

I really appreciate this comment:

I’m in love with Dramatica, but I feel like one thing that helped was I had enough of my story idea developed that I was able to figure out the storyform, because it was hiding in there (MC & IC domains were very obvious, and I had the climax scene mostly figured out, so I knew what the conflict was that would decide the MC’s Resolve choice). If it was less developed, trying to use Dramatica for it (while at the same time learning Dramatica) might have confused the heck out of me. e.g. trying to apply logic when I needed feeling, that sort of thing.

I have another story idea that I’m developing from time to time, and I’ve purposely stayed away from thinking about Dramatica in that brainstorming process. (The Concern quadrant is obvious; the working title since way before I discovered Dramatica is Memory, and the Past is definitely in there too, but I’m not sure which throughline will be Memories and haven’t tried to figure it out.) I think it will be better to develop it further before applying Dramatica.

So perhaps Storyweaver would be good for that stage of the process. So far I’m just doing my own brainstorming though.

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Hi everyone, I’m resurrecting this thread in the hopes of getting your feedback on a question I posted in another thread, related to Storyweaver (DRAMATICA Theme Browser drop-down lists, and MacOS Update? – my apologies for cross-posting).

Having mistakenly updated my Mac a couple months back I’m unable to open DSE. My “nearly finished” story structure is stuck in the software. I do have reports I’m able to reference, but they don’t answer all my questions and while I feel I could continue in Scrivner, I’m wary of making unnecessary mistakes in plotting. I’m now faced with some free time over the holidays and want to make the most of it.

So, my question: If I have already progressed 80% through DSE, would anyone recommend that I start over with Storyweaver? Perhaps given that I have already worked out many details of my story I could progress through Storyweaver quite fast. Will I derive a real benefit from StoryWeaver, particularly in terms of finalising the story structure?

A bit more backstory: while laying out the plot in Scrivner I started to read Armando’s book, which prompted some important questions, that have required me to refer to details of my story that are locked away in DSE. For example, what is the critical element of my MC? With that in mind, and no sign of when DSE will be updated, I got the idea to use Storyweaver.

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

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In my opinion – no. Storyweaver is great for bottom-up brainstorming, generating story material and corralling disparate ideas. It’s a much more organic, “muse-centric” approach. But if you already know 80 percent of your story, a lot of what you’ll be doing is cutting and pasting. (To get an idea of what’s in storyweaver, you could read Melanie’s book How to Write a Novel Step by Step – I think that’s just Storyweaver in book form).

I don’t think there’s anything in there about the crucial element for example.

So exactly how far along are you? Are you down to one storyform and do you know what that is? If so, as long as you’re not contemplating changing the storyform, you should have what you need to outline. (It might be a blessing to be forced to stick with the same storyform while you draft lol).

If it’s just the Crucial Element you’re looking for just post the storyform here (or DM me) and any of us can tell you. :slight_smile:

(anyway, this is the formula):

If the MC is change and the outcome is success, the MC crucial element is the same as the MC problem.
If the MC is change and the outcome is failure, the MC crucial element is the same as the MC solution.
If the MC is steadfast and the growth is stop, the MC crucial element is the same as the MC Symptom.
If the MC is steadfast and the growth is start, the MC crucial element is the same as the MC Response.