The following are the original posts from G+ some who are just starting out with Dramatica may find useful; this was the very first script I wrote with the help of the software after having read up on the theory for a few years prior (and waiting for the new release of Story Expert on Mac.) I had an idea for the story in my mind for some time prior - knowing specifically how it began and ended and put it off until I had the software. The posts are broken down as I wrote them on various days, the outlining taking about a month and the writing about a month and a half.
So I thought I would share this little happy accident/discovery/realization with the first story I’ve been working on full-fledged Dram 5 style.
In ACT I, I have my signposts and aligned them in the order I think works best. I work my way backwards, knowing my big moment that changes the direction of the story occurs within the IC throughline with Understanding as the signpost. No problem there.
The OS Signpost is The Past. I placed it first and it works perfectly because this particular story needs a little set-up so it works perfectly as a prologue - establishing all the events that happen in the OS Backstory.
I also knew my MC signpost of Conceiving an Idea would come just before the IC’s events, which meant the RS happens right after the opening. As I formulated a Z pattern, this is what I came up with as events according to the PSR:
State of Being
Situation - Circumstances
Sense of Self
The challenge here was the signpost is Memories and I was racking my brains for a bit on how to ensure causality between signpost events to make their order logical. Because the OS was The Past, it felt strange to jump directly into an RS focusing on Memories.
How on earth was I going to meet this requirement of creating events that are essentially the start of the story but based on the what got these two characters to the state of being they’re in now while also trying to move the story forward logically to its next progression.
That’s when it hit me. Subtext!
Dramatica actually led me to infuse subtext in the scene in a very cool way.
I wanted the events in the sequence to (mostly) focus on the present, and they do - on the surface level. By infusing subtext into these events, as the relationship in “story time” progresses, it will become evident that these characters haven’t dealt with something in their past that continually manifests in different ways in their present condition. The scene isn’t about what it’s about.
So that’s how I managed to infuse Memory into the scenes while making them in the here and now. After all, Memory is subjective and lends itself to conflicts between people all the time, and often subconsciously.