The Four Modalities of Scene Construction

You’re assuming the path through the Elements is always a Z pattern, and it’s not. But yes, that is the general idea, each element would be a “Scene”. I say “Scene” with quotes because I think the way Dramatica looks at Scenes and the rest of the universe looks at scenes is completely different. And within each Scene would have four Events (described in my article).

If you take a look at my post [On Acts, Sequences, and Scenes in Dramatica] ( you’ll see an explanation of what these should really be called. Instead of “Scenes” I would use Dramatic Unit to describe the level below the Range (“Sequence”).

Yeah, I had a hunch not all of them would be in a Z pattern (since that’s not the case with sequences nor acts) but decided to default to that as a test since no software application exists.

I also had a hunch that scenes in this sense mean something very different from any typical definition of a scene since there’d be a massive amount of “scenes” to cover, not to mention “scene” changes (if defaulting to the very crude understanding that a scene is one continuous unit of story)

So, I guess storytelling and structure are tied up very loosely at this resolution? A typical scene of continuous time and place (with a sense of beginning and an end) could actually be a snippet of a Dramatica scene, or if longer, contain several Dramatica scenes. Is that right?

“Acts, Sequences, and Scenes exist in the Storytelling Domain.”

Hehehe… Should have just clicked your link before replying, @jhull :grin:

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It’s kind of a pity that this series of articles was “interrupted” by the nanowrimo series (and other things), especially since you brought up a detailed step-by-step of scene construction.

Do you plan on continuing this next year?

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agreed. more please.

Sure thing! Looking forward to diving into this more in the New Year. Lots is happening with Dramatica in 17. Should be a good one!


I am glad that you have dared to do that because now I am not alone with the idea :slight_smile:

I have even gone further a bit - if the attached print screen shows it properly - to list out those characters who can be in conflict - according to the character build screen - within the actual Plot Sequence Element.

I thought it would help me better overview Character Relationships - i.e. among 11 characters actually - at least in deciding who represents the main POV of the actual events within the scene.

The words you read under each Element are the names of Characters - being referred to much rather by they functions now - and having the 4 elements separated into two conflicting chunks - theoretically that may help distribute the argument between SP and Journey as well as among characters.

Looking at these logistics you may name them robotics but remember these are to be guidelines only and rules are there for being defaulted.

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Fascinating article and nice theoretical work. Is this canon now?

Right now Dramatica is not being actively developed. I imagine when it starts up again this or parts of this will become incorporated in mto a practical application of the theory.


Cool, I love the software, how could I not, but I DO admit I am finding my fingers flying toward diagramming programs and what not. Today was a fill in the story points day.