Gists and their purpose

In another thread @Gregolas wrote:

The problem with that is you don’t want any particular gist to explore multiple areas. Your storyform might have an OS Concern of Becoming, or The Past but NEVER both. If you try to make it both you’ll muddy your story, muddy the message of your narrative’s “argument”.

The point of gists is to hide Dramatica’s cold structural terms beneath a blanket of creativity-friendly, inspiring words – but still have those words represent as closely as possible the Dramatica term. i.e. give you “the gist” of the term. You want to be able to look at the gist for inspiration without worrying that it will take you in the wrong direction. Like you said, if you had an OS Concern of Becoming with a gist of “ruining the time machine”, and you were brainstorming based on that… you might end up writing down something that should really be in the Activity domain or Situation & The Past. You want to be able to use the gist to forget about Dramatica for a while (although keeping the Dramatica term in the back of your head if you can), confident that you’re still standing on the solid surface of your storyform’s structure.

Of course, you could use the gist of “ruining someone” for OS Concern and end up with a story that involves ruining a time machine. Maybe the MC or IC invented the time machine (their concern is The Past) and the Story Goal is to utterly ruin them, so naturally manipulating things into destroying their precious time machine might come into it. But that would be a very different story from one where the OS Concern is The Past, or the OS Domain is Activity.

I can see that. File it under overthinking instead of looking for ways to make things easier again. I should probably stick to what I said earlier and leave trying to be fancy until I have a better grip on things.

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Forgive me @mlucas but I just am an overthinking devils advocate (what would that be in Dramatica terms? Some kind of reason/skeptic archetype hybrid?).

Anyway, I’m not trying to force incorrect thinking (to anyone having trouble with gists, I’m overcomplecating things here so read forward at your own peril) but while ‘ruining someone’ feels much more Manipulative than ‘ruining a time machine’ it still contains a verb, which is an action. So to me, that particular gist still works as a Manipulation or an Activity, depending on if the emphasis is on the verb or the subject. As long as you keep in mind which throughline you’re using it for that makes it a more versatile gist.

If nothing else I think a take away can be that you still need to choose the right noun to follow your verb since ‘someone’ feels more like Manipulation than ‘time machine’.So ‘ruining x’ as suggested in the other thread may only be a half a gist.

And again, I realize I’m over complicating it with that line of thinking. It works for me, but if you do start a gist list, I’ll keep that thinking away from it.

No apologies necessary!

In fact, I think you’re correct. You could have a gist that was “Ruining Something” (Becoming) and decide that for your story it’s “Ruining the time machine” and that would be totally fine (as long as you kept it within Manipulation etc.). The problem with making “Ruining the Time Machine” a generic gist of Becoming is simply that you might forget that the conflict is supposed to be coming from the changing-of-nature Ruining as opposed to the fact that it’s a time machine. Especially if you used it in a storyform filled with random gists.

“Ruining Something”, “Ruining Someone”, “Being Ruined” are all fine gists though, I think it’s okay that they’re vague because they give you room to work in. That said, the Narrative First gist collection (available to subscribers) has a lot more genre-specific nouns, those would be something more like “Ruining the Faerie Queen’s Heart”. Which is awesome for genre work.

Good point. And I think I was editing my last comment as you posted this one, so you might see what I added there about keeping my problematic way of thinking away from your gist list.

Are the Narrative First gists compatible with windows?

If you start a user created gist list, do you plan on them being genre specific? I’d like to see that.

No, unfortunately they’re not compatible with windows.

My idea for the user created ones was just to give people a place to share the neat ideas they come up with, something others may not have considered. Like how “reviewing security camera footage” could be a good gist for The Past (which comes up all the time on crime-related TV shows). Some might be more genre specific than others. But I wasn’t really thinking to create any exhaustive list, just a place for people to put their one-off ideas.

The Windows version of Dramatica does not support Gists at this time.

Is there a way to create gists for oneself - using Filemaker Pro, for example? Anyone have a tutorial, or some direction in which to proceed - much appreciated.