August in the Vanishing City (novel)

I just finished reading August in the Vanishing City by Lakis Polycarpou. It’s a historical fiction story that takes place in 1990s Cyprus, in the shadow of Varosha – the “world’s largest ghost town.”

I found the narrative highly compelling and the writing evocative. It was sort of like a “literary thriller” in that I couldn’t put it down. Educational as well.

Anyway, I’d love to discover the storyform and this is a rare opportunity because the author is actually a member of this forum! Plus I don’t think he had any knowledge of Dramatica when he wrote it, so that will make the analysis extra fun, like we’re peering into his brain.

@Lakis are you game? I think @Greg is going to join soon. Anyone else who has read it? (Or if you haven’t but want to read it and join us, let us know and we can try to wait… :slight_smile: )


Thanks @mlucas!

I’m game. I’ll be really interested to see if we can find a storyform. As you mentioned, when I wrote it I had no knowledge of Dramatica (hadn’t even heard of it) – so it’ll be very instructive for my own understanding to analyze (with help!) from that perspective.

In case anyone else on the board is interested in participating (or if you just want to check out the book), you can download it for free here:

I set the link to expire on Thursday.


Oh wow! This is great…downloading now :slight_smile:

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I’ll grab tonight, after work.

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Thanks Lakis for the link. Will read it and looking forward for the discussion. Already love the setting and the story.

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I should be done reading tonight. Who else is still reading or already done and planning to join the analysis?

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I keep thinking I have time, but with a 93-year-old mother and a husband in recovery it takes longer to do things, etc. Maybe a plot summary like done on Wikipedia would let some pick up/ keep up?

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I finished the book last night and it was great. I’m still working through some of the storyform stuff. I’m finding it a lot different with a book just because you see into the characters minds so much more with a movie and that makes it easier, I think to start pointing toward psych ormind

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Prish no worries, take your time. If/when you have time to finish it at some point you can join the conversation, otherwise we can just give you the cliff’s notes. I’ll think about a plot summary – but I’m afraid that might bias you in favor of my conclusions.

Let me know if/when you want to start. @mlucas was suggesting we follow the DUG procedure. I’ll have to figure out how restrain myself from jumping ahead too much with my own preconceptions.

I’m ready, but I’m in town so won’t be able to reply immediately. What’s DUG? Starting with OS?

Dramatics User’s Group – but now I’m not sure I know the order. I think they name the throughlines first (e.g. who’s the main character etc.).

We don’t have to follow that though.

Yeah, that’s what I meant. What do they do first? Been a while since I’ve watched one of the videos. I’d say the OS would be something about the invasion of the city, occupation by the Turks. OS Universe?

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Yeah, I think definitely. I had written something like “Living on a Divided Island” but Mike pointed out that could sound a bit like Being (Living).

OS Universe for sure though.

Oh I should say:


How do they work and are they existing now?

Maybe. Again, since it’s a book, you ca see into the characters thoughts and feelings a lot easier, so it’s more tempting than it would be with a movie to say they are divided because of how they hate each other or whatever. But OS Universe. And MC is Petros. A good chunk of his story is walking through occupied territory, hiding, surviving, being captured, escaping. MC Physics.


Yup - we’re on the same page so far.

OS - Universe
MC - Physics (Petros)


Here’s where I’ve been spending my time trying to figure things out. I want to say Elias as IC-he pushes others to go talk to foreign girls and gets the kid to cross the line and such, cant help himself-and Joanna as RS for obvious reasons. But I wonder, too, if those don’t mix and match a little bit such that sometimes Elias works in the RS for just a bit.


I had questions about this at first too. I think the consensus that Mike I came to was that there was a definite handoff with the RS weighted toward Joanna and the IC weighted toward Elias. (There are definite examples of Joanna displaying manipulative behavior–and as Mike pointed out, driving Petros crazy).


Ok. So I’m going to say Elias as IC with Joanna in the RS with the understanding that those two might kind of move around at times.

What’s next?

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