Issue with new Holistic terms

@jhull I understand why you wanted to come up with some different terminology for the holistic story set, but the words chosen have been bugging me. I don’t like them, but I couldn’t really put my finger on why until now. I hope you’ll watch this video and maybe we can talk about it on Thursday

Zombie Nouns

For those who prefer written text to videos (me!) here are a couple articles. I think the nytimes one is from the person who originally coined the phrase.


Do you have suggestions for alternate words? I’d love to hear what you have to say, and then we can discuss it in a future class. I’d rather do that then make the class about Zombie Nouns.

Note this quote from the NYT article:

At their best, nominalizations help us express complex ideas: perception, intelligence, epistemology. At their worst, they impede clear communication.

Several of the Dramatica terms would count: Perception & Actuality, Production & Reduction, Speculation & Projection, Rationalization, Conceptualizing… It may be that these are complex enough ideas that they require nominalization if you’re going to try and capture the concept in a single word.

But I do agree @jassnip that simplifying is always good!

Yes, exactly this. Dramatica is one big giant zombie noun machine.


Have you met me? :stuck_out_tongue:

I do indeed have ideas for other words. I would never ask for something to be changed unless 1) I had a really good reason (like Zombie nouns) and 2) I had suggestions that I thought would work or at least be a starting point for discussion.

And those suggestions would be…?

I see a new marketing plan is in the works.


Oh, silly me. I thought we’d talk about them tomorrow. Uh okay…mostly it’s a matter of de-zombifying them and returning them to their verb or adjective roots

Intention --> Intend or intending…if you still need it as a noun I see nothing wrong with intent
Habituation --> adapt or adapting
Internalization --> integrate, internalize
Socialization --> mingle, mingling (I’m less certain on this one because I don’t know what you mean by socialization)…oh I know, negotiating, barter

Excitement --> Could stand as is or perk, maybe?
boredom --> Apathy? Toll? again, I’m not sure why we’re shifting away from Cost and dividend. Toll is a more emotional word, suggesting not just that given up for something, or paid, but sacrificed. Ooo Sacrifice/Offering?

Ennui --> ?? (Again, I am uncertain here because I don’t know what concept you’re after…discontent? Regret? Indifference? Dissatisfying? Since this is supposed to be forewarning…portent, maybe? What’s wrong with forewarning?
Overwhelm --> Could also stand as is…but unthinkable or unimaginable could also work for consequence, I prefer unthinkable or dread

And lastly to the vibration thing…this is so hard to bring up because I know how much work you’ve put into it, @jhull . And, while I laud how you’ve tried to differentiate the operating systems of the two types of stories, I have a really hard time figuring out what the story premises are supposed to be about when you start taking about (high or low) vibrations. And I think I have at least a reasonable understanding of how holistic minds work. Vibrations don’t mean anything to me in the context of a premise. And I admit it, could just be me. When I think of holistic stories, it’s more about connection and balance. I can point to an event in a story and say that created a disconnect, but I would never say ooo, right there that’s where the vibrational energy shifted. It’s too cerebral and not primal enough.

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I specifically don’t want to talk about it tomorrow without giving it greater thought. The classes are meant to be future resources for learning Dramatica and its practical application in Subtext. A round-robin discussion of ideas is better served here.

Dramatica is a model of the mind, the Appreciations are the means by which the Audience appreciates that mind. For your suggestions to work, they need to follow that model of “the BLANK of the Mind”. That’s why the Goal of the Storymind, the Prerequisites of the Storymind, and the Consequence of the Storymind work so well.

The “intend” of the Mind or the “adapting” of the Mind don’t follow the model.

Integrate is interesting, but it would have to be the Integration of the Storymind.

It’s likely that the disconnect with “zombie” nouns is the notion of Static Plot Points within a Holistic context, i.e. we’re using a square to describe a circle. We can start to move to a Dynamic Model, but that would require rebuilding from the ground-up.

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