I wanted to branch off of the Distant Influence Character thread and elaborate on a lightbulb moment I had.
To recap, @mlucas had brought up the idea of getting your two justifications close-enough to be understandable as a dilemma, and then leaving petty objections aside as unreasonable.
I went for a walk and was mulling this around in my head. One thing I’ve noticed for me is that when I really lock down on the justification exercise and get two air-tight, incompatible justifications, Like finishing a huge meal, I feel a sense of accomplishment and no motivation to do anything.
The lightbulb moment I had was a core Dramatica idea popped into my head:
A story is an argument.
The way the justification exercises have been playing out on Conflict Corner (the ones I’ve seen) and the boards is:
- Two justifications are presented
- Everyone chimes in with why it’s not actually a dilemma
- Author keeps addressing objections until two perfect justifications are reached
When you work through the process of getting two perfect incompatible justifications, you’re doing your arguing outside of the story. I think that’s where the sense of completion is coming from. You have successfully argued these two things cannot co-exist. All that is left is to pick one.
So, another approach to the justification exercise might be:
- Create to justifications that you think cannot exist.
- Try to brainstorm think of an easy out
- Show how that out is impossible and / or makes things worse.
- Back to step 2.
My thinking is that once you’ve exhausted all your ideas for objections you’ll have a ton of story ideas that are all part of the argument you’re making for that signpost / variation / etc
I’d be really interested in everyone’s thoughts on this, or better yet, any experience reports from trying this. I will report back my own findings for better or worse.