Just wanted to quickly mention something that I think Diane @jassnip is going to love!
Going through revision of my novel, I have found empirically that:
- The first scene that deals with a particular PSR item, always seems to deal with the element quad in the usual Z-pattern order. For example, Evidence goes: Ability, Aware, Self-Aware, Desire. This is as Jim suggested.
- However, if a particular PSR item is repeated in a subsequent scene (this can happen a fair bit in a really long novel), the order always seems to be different. Sometimes it’s a different-shaped Z, sometimes even a hairpin. So, point for Diane.
Note that I’m only finding this empirically in my own work (looking at the elements that were already present in scenes as I revise). The scenes were NOT written using these elements, as at the time I didn’t even know you could drill down on a PSR item to build the scene. Nor was I ever sure which PSR item I was “on”. Yet the elements are often super clear, and there’s no way you could change the order of them in the scene (I tried a few times thinking the non-Z order was “wrong” but it never worked).
Perhaps, by virtue of the elements shifting around in order, it makes the scene more meaningful and less repetitive? So if one chapter has an Evidence scene where a cop is acting on evidence to identify a body, and then the next chapter has an Evidence scene where some badguys are trying to clean up evidence, the different order helps communicate the separate contexts.
One thing that’s really interesting too, when a scene has a hairpin order of elements, it often turns out that I mistakenly identified it as two separate scenes (using non-Dramatica concepts). As there seems to be a shift in the conflict in the middle of the scene.
Anyway, this is only from analyzing my own work so I don’t know that it’s in any way “right” or a pattern for others to follow. But it would be cool if folks could pay attention to see if they find this in their own or published work!