Table of Scenes Generator and Crucial Element/truism

My Dramatica characteristics panel shows the Crucial Elements as Pursuit/Avoidance (Problem/Solution). But when I upload to the TOS Generator 2.8, it labels the Crucial Element as Controlled/Uncontrolled (Response/Symptom).

Am I missing something or is this Generator funky?


And piggy-backing on the Crucial Element question, the Truism, discussed in the Generating Conflict article, is this related to any specific storypoint, or to the premise, or not?

According to Greg, if I understand correctly,

It’s a conflict between Domains. Would that be domain/issues?

In the Writing with Subtext video, it mentions “Source of Drive” which I believe is the Focus.

It’s the difference between any two elements at any level. Domain, Issue, Concern, whatever. ‘People need to Pursue unless they need to Avoid’ works just as well as ‘People need to Physics unless they need to Psychology’.

That’s just how the model works. There’s not any one element creating conflict. Conflict comes from the relationship between elements.

If you want two magnets to stick together and they won’t because they are sitting six feet apart, the problem is not that one magnet is six feet to the left and it’s not that the other magnet is six feet to the right. The problem is that there are six feet between the magnets. The conflict (magnets won’t stick together) is a result of the the relationship (six feet of physical space) between the magnets.

But since this is an analogy for the mind, we’re not talking about magnets, and we’re not talking about physical space.


Are you certain you uploaded the right files?

The best way to check is to ask, is your MC Changed or Steadfast in this story? (The former will set Problem/Solution as the Crucial Elements; which is MC and which is IC Crucial will depend on Outcome. The latter will set Symptom/Response as Crucial, with Growth determining which is which.)

Bravo! Love the analogy.


While @Greg is totally right about the inequity between dynamic pairs in the Dramatica model, that exercise is typically used to show writers how to manifest inequity within the Element itself. (just Pursuit, or just Avoid).

So…people need to pursue a fulfilling career in order to feel fulfilled UNLESS happiness lies in living a different experience every day.

That illustrates an inequity of PURSUIT.

You’re not necessarily “avoiding” something with the other context, you’re showing a DIFFERENT context where PURSUIT becomes the source of the inequity.

You can see this more readily with something like Past, where the dynamic pair of Present rarely comes into play within the narrative storyform. The people need … in order to … unless would focus solely on Past.


Ah, okay, I see what i did there. So I used the “people need to _ blank unless _” wording when what I was really explaining was just the comment I had been quoted on in the original post.

So conflict happens because of the space between elements. This is what allows the problem to be whatever you see it as. The problem is the space between the magnets, but you can assign that conflict to one magnet being too far left or the other being too far right.

But Jim’s thing—I think —is more like saying “people need to leave that magnet on the left where it is, unless they need it to stick to the magnet on the right.” By focusing on the magnet on the left, we are analogously focusing on just Pursuit or just Physics or whatever.

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Quick drop in, since I noticed no one mentioned this: If I remember correctly, “Source of Drive” is Jim’s way of writing “Problem for the Steadfast Character”.

P.S. The problem isn’t that the magnets are six feet apart. It’s that they’re 125.48 million feet apart. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Yes. Story Form Output and Plot Scene Report

Everything else is exactly right. Everything on the Table of Scenes matches except for this…These are the two that don’t match.

It would be useful if you simply send me those two reports per private message. Then I can check why things don’t work as they should.

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Not focus, but Problem. My badl

In the Writing with Subtext video @jhull did on this truism concept, Jim looked at MC Problem “Feeling” vs IC perspective (compilation of all points);

So, @jhull, when you say

In the video you said, “The MC point of view is driven by ____ somehow” and “A truism that is just as valid but cannot exist at the same time as this one.”

does this mean tying it with the IC elements isn’t really as important in this conflict? What matters is the Feeling (Problem), its truism, and then some conflicting other idea, maybe somehow related to IC throughline?

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Past: “People need to destroy the past in order to move on unless not repeating mistakes is more important
Learning: “People need to share all their information in order to catch criminals unless privacy is more important

are these reasonable examples?

I wanted to have a follow-up on this. Working with @bobRaskoph we’ve fixed the quirk and now the crucial element lines up. Thanks and hat-tip to Bob for the Table of Scenes Generator.

And thanks, @jhull

So I understand it is ONLY the MC crucial element that is part of this inequity. This helps a lot.

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