Take my thoughts with a grain of salt. I’m not a Dramatica Story Expert like some of the other great people in this thread. I only share these thoughts because you raised a question, and I happen to have some opinions that I’ve formulated to answer that question. And I would like to understand the error of my ways if any of my conclusions are faulty. So here they are:
(1): This statement is actually what I would consider a good example of why it’s true that meaning is derived from context. Killing is unacceptable, except for when done in self-defense. There’s an exception within that line of thought, or in other words, there’s an alternative context where the truism that “Killing is unacceptable” can no longer be considered true. Self-defense is a context where killing is acceptable.
If you attempt to be conscious of all the potential exceptions to a particular truth, you can then try to invent more specific and accurate truisms, such as “Murder is unacceptable”. But there’s always the danger that an exception to the rule hasn’t yet been considered. Can you truly, objectively know what’s true without exploring each and every context and finding the truths within?
(2): One thing to remember, however, is that many contexts are fictional. For example, superheroes and their worlds aren’t “real”. So, while Dramatica might consider the argument of Black Panther or Captain America: Civil War to be without holes, the context in which the argument is being made might have dozens of fabricated elements. In that case, the argument being made doesn’t really translate to our “real world” context.
Although, yes, you can analogize fictional contexts to real world contexts. But they don’t always translate perfectly.
(3): And take a look at stories people create based off of different news reports. Some of those stories can end up being false narratives. This is because statistics can be faulty, and eye witness accounts can be inaccurate. In other words, the context can be fabricated. Even within that fabricated context, you can still make a truthful argument for just about anything, and the inner logic of that argument can be 100% perfect. However, the moment you try to apply that argument to a real world context, you create a false narrative.
Basically, in the context of the statistics and eyewitnesses being correct, the argument (or story) will hold true. But in the context of reality, where the statistics and eyewitnesses are incorrect, then obviously that argument won’t hold up, because while the argument is “true”, the context is fabricated.
So, to conclude, I would posit that:
- Yes, anything can be true, depending on the context
- No, not every context is objectively real. We live in an objectively real world, with a limited number of contexts (assuming you believe in an objectively real world)
- Either way, a Dramatica Storyform isn’t about the context, it’s about the argument made within that context. If you can fabricate a context where killing is okay, then Dramatica will allow you to argue that killing is okay (within that context).