Does PRCO use dynamic pairs?

I have a question about PRCO (Potential, Resistance, Current, Outcome). Narrative First had some podcasts and articles re-examining and explaining PRCO in detail, mostly in regards to scene construction. And I believe what I heard / read is that PRCO actually exists in every level of the model, e.g. the Problem quad in a throughline is an example of PRCO with Problem = Potential, Symptom = Resistance, Response = Current, and Solution = Outcome.

Hearing this, and checking again the example of the runaway horse (scene level PRCO), it appears that Potential and Outcome will always be a dynamic pair, same with Resistance and Current. Is that accurate? I can’t seem to find it documented anywhere, but may have missed it.

(I’m trying to figure out the PRCO of the PSR Variations I hapened to put into some of my Signpost encodings – it worked super well on one but want to make sure I know the rules before going further.)

not sure how to hyperlink while on my phone, but look at the Narrative First article on the short film Piper. I linked to it in the thread about making a short story from a single quad.

In that article, the P,R,C,O is listed as Inaction, Reaction, Protection, Proaction. In that case the Potential and Current would be dynamic pairs and the Resistance and Outcome would be dynamic pairs.

Interesting! The discussion on PRCO applied to rotating quads in this article (page 7, diagrams 11w-11z) also seems to imply that P<->O and R<->C would be dynamic pairs, because of where they’re positioned around the quads. But, that is only one example of PRCO being applied, so by no means definitive.

If Jim is cool with a different arrangement, as in Piper, I would not presume to second-guess him!

Try this article from Narrative First. In it you will find this:

[Chris and Melanie] vanquished the monster of perfect story structure before it saw the light of day. A glimpse of the SRCA progression lies within the progression of Signposts found within each Throughline—but that’s it. Until the day we meet that monster, Authors can simply set the SRCA and PRCO of their Scenes to the best of their abilties and with the purpose of providing meaning to their Audience.

So there is a proper way to set it according to Dramatica, but that info is being withheld allowing for authors to set it themselves. This article also answered a few questions I had about PRCO so I’m glad you asked about it. I’d read this article before, but there’s always so much useful information in these things that I’ll never be able to remember it all!

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Thanks Greg. I was more looking at using PRCO at the higher-than-scene level, i.e. for the Variations in the Plot Sequence Report. (I think the SRCA or linear order of Variations is actually encoded in the PSR, although I think I remember seeing a thread where Chris said you didn’t have to stick to that if you didn’t want to.)

I actually stumbled on a weird way of using the PSR for my signpost encodings, I’m sure it’s totally unorthodox but it works for me. (Maybe I will start a new thread to share that process.) Anyway, that’s why I’ve been thinking of assigning PRCO for those Variations / Sequences.

The same article shows on page 5 some flip and rotation patterns that screw enough with a quad to turn dynamic pairs into non-dynamic pairs. It’s fair to assume that the PRCO labels are assigned after some flipping and rotation; otherwise you could just point to a story point’s position in the theme browser.
Therefore, I think we can safely assume that PO and RC are not always dynamic pairs.

Thanks Bob! That, along with Jim’s Piper analysis that @Gregolas pointed out, have definitely convinced me that PO and RC are not required to be dynamic pairs.

(Actually, another point in favour of that, Jim probably would’ve mentioned a dynamic pair rule if there was one, in his recent articles / podcasts on scene structure.)

EDIT: in case it wasn’t clear, I’m not trying to figure out PRCO to aim for some “perfect” story structure idea … what happened was that I encoded the PSR variations into my signposts very loosely, and now that all my signpost encodings are done, I thought it would be fun to look back over them and figure out which Variation is Potential, which is Resistance, etc.

I finished my PRCO analysis of my Relationship Throughline PSR Variations. I’m really glad I tried it! It gave me a lot of insight into my RS Signpost Acts (including a couple things I needed to tweak a bit). And it also gave me a lot better understanding of dramatic circuits!

One thing I noticed is that two of the signposts were very easy to figure out the PRCO while the other two were MUCH harder and required a lot more thought. I noticed that the harder ones did not have PO and RC as dynamic pairs, while the easy ones did. (The hard ones were both PC and RO as dynamic pairs.) Not sure if I can make any conclusions on that, but perhaps the “twisting” that occurs when they are not dynamic pairs makes things less cut and dried.

For the ones I had trouble on, what really helped was to look at the Potential for the next Signpost, and use that to guide what should be the Outcome of the current one. (The easy Signposts were 3 & 4 so I sort of worked backwards.) That way the O sort of connects to the P of the following Act, and it’s like these four dramatic circuits are plugged into each other, wired together in a way.

For example, the Outcome of Act 2 is Security – feeling insecure about how their relationship will end up, trying to secure themselves against a potential bad ending. That feeds very well into the Potential of Act 3 which is Fate – the idea of this terrible fate hanging over them, like a dark cloud on the horizon.

Forgot to mention, one other thing is that all the Outcomes from Acts 1-3 seem to persist as potentials for conflict all the way through, lending their “power” to the rest of the relationship story. e.g. The insecurity from Act 2’s outcome persists through Act 3 & 4. The Attraction from Act 1 persists all the way through to the end, etc.

This ^^ is totally accurate.

And this ^^ is exactly how you should use PRCO - the Outcome from one dramatic circuit provides the Potential for the next.

Within one throughline, right? How would you all imagine the weaving of the scenes of different throughlines? Having multiple dramatic circuits going on at once? Suspending the power of one throughline to reconnect to the power of another?

My best guess is that the dramatic circuits themselves, at least at the Signpost & PSR Variation level, are specific to the throughlines that they’re in. Since the storyform and PSR do place the elements of those circuits in individual throughlines. BUT the “story content” or illustrations of each item in the circuit can exist in other throughlines, and be seen from that different perspective.

Example 1: IC Signpost 1 of Memories has the IC doing stuff that impacts others in the area of memories, including using a spell to draw out someone else’s memories. Some of the stuff he does, including the spell-casting, could also be seen as problematic Doing which is OS Signpost 1.

Example 2: Act 1 MC Througlhine has Suspicion as one of its PSR Variations. Act 1 OS Throughline has Attitude as one of its PSR Variations. Both might be related to some of the characters suspecting that the MC is a witch tainted by the devil, their suspicions fueled by their attitudes towards those born with magical abilities. (Suspicion and Attitude may or may not have the same PRCO assignments in their circuits.)

Of course when it comes to the scene level, as shown in Jim’s Narrative First articles, I think the individual scene events can exist in multiple throughlines – and in the best scenes they often will. (At least for structural scenes; I’m not sure if storytelling scenes are part of throughlines.)

That’s a good question–and one I haven’t delved into yet. It’s almost like you should go through and weave the circuits without thinking of Scenes or Sequences or Acts and then go back in and see how you want to mash it all together.

That would be a Structuralist approach to it