I have read somewhere that it takes about 18months to feel the start of an understanding of how Dramatica really works ! I think it is really true and I personally am experiencing this very long period during which all the concepts are slowly getting together. But for the moment, I stil haven’t been able to put any story together and I must admit I sometime feel a bit frustrated.
Anyway, this is my first question to this discussion group and I would like to have some of your ideas to understand an important concept of the theory : Signposts and journeys.
I need some clarifications on these two different story points.
Although it seems to be two different concepts, I don’t really understand the difference between them, especially when I look at the many examples available in the analysis available in the Dramatica database.
As I understand it, a signpost is a precise moment on a journey, it is the moment when you enter in a territory within which the signpost’s concept prevail as a fix state.
It means that as a writer, you need to encode this concepts through different story points that illustrate this concept.
On the other hand a journey is a series of event during which a concept is slowly evolving into another concept.
This is more tricky as during this period, the two concepts must co-exist, one slowly giving place to the other. This evolution is accomplished when the next signpost appears and I rather understand it as the moment when the first concepts has totally ceased to exist.
Then we enter into the exploration of the second concept until the moment the 3rd concepts start to appear (the beginning of journey 2).
So a story would then be the visit of 4 different concepts inter-cut with 3 transformations. And although the complete sequence shows a very progressive evolution. The separation of these acts are very precise, these are the moments I suspect to be the beginning of each act :
Signpost #1 : first moment of the throughline
Journey#1 : First appearance of the concept #2
Signpost#2 : Last appearance of the concept #1
Journey#2 : First appearance of the concept#3
Signpost#3 : Last appearance of the concept#2
Journey#3 : First appearance of the concept#4
Signpost#4: Last appearance of the concept#3
In this way of seeing it, the four concept are overlapping each other and explored separately as well.
Did I get it right ?
Now although this seems pretty clear in my head. I feel confused when I look at the analysis of Star Wars, in regard of Luke’s story (MC). When I look at the story point report, it seems the Signposts 1 occurs at a precise point (the two sun-down scene). As if it was at this precise moment (and not before) that we reach the signpost one (being trapped by the past). So if we only enter the area of the 1rst concept at this moment, where are we before that ? How long are we visiting this territory and when does he leave it and start the journey to signpost 2 ?
I dont’t want to make this post too long so I hope you have understood the kind of confusion I am dealing with, and I would like to read some different opinions on how to apprehend this concept and how to use it. (when done, I have some more question about it ! )