Non-Dramatica story points


It’s not exactly dramatica related question, as mentioned in the tile, but may be it is not a Dramatica question yet.
While learning about screenplay and story structre I have discovered few concepts that at some point were the same and at another point were not.
May be you can help me with better understanding.
Most of screenwriting chetsheets refers to well know points: Inciting Incident, end of act I, Midpoint, End of Act II, Climax.
But there are minor beats in the story that confuses me a little bit.
It is called Pinch points and is placed in Act II (in common terms) or Act II and III (in Dramatica terms). Assuming Act II is between 25% and 75% of the story, and Midpoint is in the middle (50%) the first Pinch Poit is in 37% and the second one is in 62% - just a middle of first and second part of classic Act II.
Math is simple, definition as well: remember audience what it is all about, foreshadow antagonist’s power.
Plain and simple, unless…
There is something more in some guideliines. A 17 minute/17 page point - what it is all about. Michael Corleone states it is his family and not him, Deckard states replicants are like any other machine.
And then it comes to confusion:
For 17 minute dilemma it is expected to have two reversal points expected at the same place as Pinch Points.
Is it the same or not?
My feeling is it is not, at least it does not have to be.
For example in The Godfather Pinch Points by math are second attempt to kill Don Corleone and assassination of Santino - enemies power in play.
On the other hand good candidates for 17 minute rersal are scenes with ‘Micheal is not in the Famili’ kind of statements.
First is after Michael learns there was attemt to kil his father and meets his brother Santino in a warroom. Second is after Michael develops a plan to kill the Turk. But both are in the Act II. In ACT III attempt to kill Michael in Sicily seems like unspoken ‘Michael is no longer outside of the Family business, despite of what he thinks’.
Anyway, my feeleing is Pinch Points and Dilema reversals does not have to be the same but am I right? If so are there some rule on when it should be placed?

I’ve seen references to this 17 page thing before, but no source. Where are you reading this?

The long and short of it is this: Dramatica Acts are changes in perspective. Maybe you were looking at a Concern of the Past from the Perspective of the Future in Act One (“will my girlfriend marry me–future–if she finds out I went to prison–past.”) And then there is a change… and old enemy shows up, and now it’s “Concern of Past from persepective of Past” → “Was going to jail the worst thing for me really if it taught me ways to defend myself from this guy?”

“Pinch Points” are storytelling techniques. You want to make sure that stories are constantly engaging and one way to do that is by introducing new problems or changing how problems are going. They don’t have a great equivalent in Dramatica, and I bet if we looked at a bunch of them, we’d see that they are in the OS sometimes, the MC Throughline sometimes, etc.

Yes, it is not directly releated to Dramatica. It is for sure not a part of Dramatica theory, but it is also not ‘against’ Dramatica. To be honest I can’t find a single source of 17 minute rule, but I saw it in few guides on Internet. Search engine would help.
What is more important I cans identify it in the movies. 'I stick my neck for nobady" in Casablanca. 'get you all back off my land anb back where you came from" in Shrek - this one is double as strong because first od all Shrek declares he wants to be alone, and second of all gets aplause in response, because this is exactly what they want and than they love him the way he is. Shrek than has his ‘onion story’ after deal with Farquaad and night talk with Donkey under the full moon, when Fiona is in a cave.
First reversal in most cases is to recall MC POV and the second one is to foreshadow where MC is going - something like Change/Steadf but more like first idea than a final decision.
In other words I don’t know where is it from but I see it does exist.
Maybe ther is no a strict rule where to put it. I have a feeling based on limited experience, this 17m reversal in most cases is after Pinch Point, but… not sure.
I see no good candidate in Dramatica theory to fit into this technique - mayb ewith one exception. Good candidate dor 17 minute is first point of Character Arc defined by Armando in Dramatica for Screenwritter - MC Crucial Element vs IC Crucial Element. Just maybe.
Maybe experienced ‘sold’ screenwriters can put some light on this ‘17 minute’ rule?

You could think of it this way. 17 minutes is approximately 1/6 of the way through the story. If you have three equal-length Acts, that’s halfway through the first Act. That’s a good place to reinforce your thematic statement to help maintain momentum. The other two “pinch points” you mentioned might be halfway through the second Act (i.e. the Midpoint) and halfway through the third Act.

That being said, Dramatica doesn’t really make any statements about timing its various elements throughout the story. It’s mostly concerned about how a story is a mind working through all elements in turn before coming to its conclusion. It’s one of my biggest complaints with other story analysis systems–their obsession with specific requirements.

There are a lot of things like this that don’t work against Dramatica because everyone is trying to solve the same problem. The Hero’s Journey doesn’t conflict with Dramatica, and you could say that it’s a small, poorly explained, subset of Dramatica if you wanted to.

I am an experienced, produced screenwriter. “Pinch points” and “17 minutes rule” simply never come up. At best, they are a shorthand (szybki sposób na powiedzenie) of saying “make sure the movie isn’t boring and things keep changing and getting harder for our protagonist/Main Character”.

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I had no bad intentions. I’m just a ‘wannabe’ so it is likely I get something wrong :slight_smile:
Seems like there is no need to overthink the 17m case.
After all it is a lesson so… thank you.

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