I think youre way off base with how you’re interpreting this. It’s not saying that story structure will give you an out of body experience. It’s saying that authors have a personal connection to their work and Dramatica allows them to also view it for what it actually is. Both perspectives are equally true, equally valid. But you can only take one or the other, not both at the same time.
I’m not saying Dramatica was saying that. I’m saying the author of that article said it. Let me re-quote that for you:
The Dramatica theory of story allows an Author to step outside of himself–immediately and without the reliance of time to separate him from his work. With Dramatica, the Author observes his work from an objective point-of-view. He sees what his story looks like from a dispassionate standpoint.
Can you see it now? He almost literally writes that Dramatica gives the author an out-of-body experience of the work.
If there is only subjectivity and ambiguity, what is one deluded by or about? If personal perspective is all there is, then there is no such thing as delusion, for to be deluded about what ones personal experience is simply is ones personal experience.
What kind of an argument is that? To answer your question, what is one deluded about? One’s own perception. The story you fabricate in order to give meaning to things in life. The realisation that these are merely, synthetically manufactured concepts that do not explain reality accurately. It is the foundation of ideology.
And yet by your own admission you expect the audience to view your story absent of any objectivity, meaning you probably have little confidence that the audience will actually receive your message the way you intend.
Also, it doesn’t seem that you want to write an ambiguous story, but rather that you want to present a message to your audience that something can be perceived to be ambiguous. There is a big difference.
Correct. I’m writing how I perceive it while at the same time urging the audience to question it. The story isn’t ambiguous, but the meaning is.
Regarding ambiguity, here is my take.
Didactic stories are often not satisfying. Dramatica calls these propaganda, and they are usually missing some part of the story (a throughline or something). People say it hits you over the head and has no ambiguity.
By contrast, a complete story makes a unified argument by exploring an otherwise inexpressible inequity from multiple perspectives. These rich multiple perspectives are (I believe) what people refer to when they talk about “ambiguity” in the good sense.
This is not the same as a work in which the author is wishy-washy or refuses to take a stand.
I think that’s a good argument. This is also why I still believe Dramatica is suitable for my needs. At the very least, Dramatica helps to create the meaning from the widest possible way of looking at things from the perspective of a human mind. Even though the end result is still nothing close to the absolute truth, at the very least it makes an effort to look at it from every possible angle.
I personally think that it is important that we question that ultimate meaning at the end of the story as well. Similar to Inception, Stalker, Solaris, A Serious Man, … although those examples are very on the nose.
The whole point of having a spread of characters, with the MC on one end and the IC on the other end, and the rest of the characters identifiable by their location in the Characteristics chart is to show that nobody approaches a problem/inequity in the same way.
MC/IC are not characters. They are perspectives. The actual characters do not show that nobody approaches a problem/inequity in the same way. It illustrates all the different ways a problem/inequity can be approached. And that’s exactly my problem with it. I want to argue that by forcing this level of intellectual precision down to the character level, it’s almost as if you’re creating a mathematical model. Like fabricating a clockwork. I can’t explain this any better, but I feel that it wouldn’t be so bad to leave some room for poetry.
This is not the same as having the same characters bounce around between traits. Do we do this in real life? Sure, because we are trying to figure out in each moment which approach will be the best. Each moment is tied to a different story, for the most part.
My guess is that this is where we fundamentally disagree. To me there is no story. And if there had to be one for the sake of making my argument easier, I will argue with anyone any day over the fact that each moment is part of one, single story. Ask any psychotherapist. I dare you.
As to the consistency of character elements according to the actual characters, why bother? With the aid of the plot sequence report, you already have very precise functions your characters have to execute. As to their motivations and all that stuff, someone with some knowledge about human behaviour should be able to easily weave these things in. And in the case of making a film, there’s also going to be actors and the script will change slightly throughout production and all that good stuff.
When I’m writing characters according to the Dramatica character system, it feels as if I’m writing scripts for machines. I’m no longer thinking about real people, I’m thinking about how to make X do Y. Perhaps for most of you, that way of working works. But for me it feels fake. That’s all I’m saying.