Horizontal Story Progression Chart

The Table of Scenes originated long ago when the Dramatica Email List was running.

While I always found it to be useful, I’ve always personally preferred a more horizontal view of Story.

So, taking my inspiration from the good old Table of Scenes, I’ve come up with my own rendition of a Story Chart that I like to call the “Horizontal Story Progression.”

Here it is, using a story I’m working on as an example:

I created this in Microsoft word, and then exported it as a PDF file. If anyone would like the original (empty version) of the Word Document, just PM me with your email. I’ll have to send you the act order icons as well, if you want to use those in your own document.

I prefer a mix of new and old Dramatica terminology, but you can use whatever you like. I also include the element level information for the Variations, though you don’t have to. I mainly use them as a way to learn more about Dramatica. I hope to one day have the entire Dramatica model memorized.

I aso use little helper texts to remind me of the new and old terminology, so I can learn to use tthem interchangeably.

I prefer this to the table of scenes because it is a horizontal progression that might fit better on individual index cards. I had to create the document on tabloid-size paper (17 x 11 Landscape) in order to fit everything, so you may not be able to print your own version on regular size paper unless your printer or printing software allow for some kind of scaling to fit standard paper sizes.

If you’d find this useful, let me know!


Edit: If one were to take the individual throughlines, divide them up just after each of the journey arrows, the information would probably fit well on index cards. You don’t have to include all the information I did, or use the Throughline order that I did. LIke I said, I just use this as a way to get to know my story as well as gaining a clearer understanding of Dramatica itself and how all the pieces interact with each other.

I also included diagonal white lines that go from a sequence’s Aftermath to the next sequence’s Setup, as I read somewhere that the Outcome of a particular sequence can be used to fuel the Setup of the next, etc.


Looks very interesting and it is designed in a visually appealing way. Although I have to admit I don’t quite understand everything I see in this chart. I see under each signpost: setup, revelation, conflict and aftermath. Where do I get these for my story form and how do they help me to develop my story?


The Setup, Revelation, Conflict, and Aftermath come from the Plot Sequence Report in Dramatica, and represent the subjective view of the characters in each throughline. SRCA matches up with Dramatica’s PRCO (Potential, Resistance, Current, and Outcome).

In the PSR, when you see that a particular Signpost is explored “in terms of” - the following 4 Variations mentioned are the PRCO (or SRCA) for that particular signpost.

Hmmmm… As far as I know, the PRCO stuff isn’t available in the current softwares at all. Even the Plot Sequence Report doesn’t show that, but rather just the order of things, just like the Signposts. Some articles on storymind, for example, talk about PRCO not having to appear in that chronological order.

I think Rod does not mean the “Plot Sequence” report in the “Advanced Reports” section, but the “Using the Plot Sequence Report Materials” report in the “Dramatica for Screenwriter Reports” section. The latter report indeed gives them in sequence. However, I didn’t see any mention of “Setup, Revelation, Conflict, and Aftermath” or “Potential, Resistance, Current, and Outcome”

PRCO is discussed elsewhere in a lot of articles on Melanie’s multiple sites, and in a few of her ebooks available on Amazon. The terms Setup, Revelation, etc… are just inherited from the old Table of Scenes generator that was available to those of us who were members of the old Dramatica email list that started in the late 90’s, but the terms mean pretty much the same things.

Incidentally, the order of the variations in the Plot Sequence Report isn’t arbitrary, and represent an “ideal” order for their exploration. But they’re just a guide. We’re all free to use them if we find them useful, or ignore them if we don’t. :slight_smile:

Hi Rod,

I’d love to get your template file for this. This layout is amazing and I think it really helps put the relationship between the 4 throughlines and the Plot Sequence in perspective. Thanks in advance.

Peter, have you seen @bobRaskoph’s awesome Table of Scenes generator?

It’s currently hosted here: https://raskoph.lima-city.de/dramatica/sceneTable.html

Here’s a link to the thread:

Thanks @mlucas … put in the text and hit submit but nothing happened. Using Chrome v58 on Mac. But I’m intrigued by the generator. Is it working for you currently?

Yes, it’s definitely working, I’ve used it a lot. I’m on PC and use Firefox, but others had it working with Mac.

Make sure you are exporting the Story Points report (not story engine settings) and the Plot Sequence Report, and without any additional Vocabulary or Illustrations. (sorry, not sure if those options have different names on Mac)

Thank You ! Your chart has helped me with understanding Dramatica. I would love to have the empty chart, but I cannot find a link to PM you. I’m new to this forum, and I’m studying Dramatica Theory without using the software. Than You so much for this chart!!!

Here’s some websites that will help you with Dramatica, they helped me greatly:

Narrative First (search google)

I would be cautious with how-to-write-a-book-now.com.

Source: Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner complete stories?


Yeah. That site always feels like it was run through Google Translate.

How long does it take to run it’s process? I’ve been waiting about four minutes now … @bobraskoph