The Storyforms for HBO's Succession

For those just tuning in–

–we just finished exploring the final Storyform for the first season of HBO’s Succession. For years I’ve been asked for a comprehensive look at how to use Dramatica theory to help construct and develop a television series–and now we have it.

Start Here for the Succession Episodes in the Writers Room

We still have to do the wrap-up next week where we look at the entire season, and all the Storyforms we found (we found a total of 8 story forms spread acros 10 episodes) to see if there is one Storyform to rule them all, but once we do, I’ll find a way to package them all up together to make it easier for future writers to benefit from the entire group experience.

I cannot fully express how grateful I am to everyone who helped participate in these classes and offer their thoughts on potential inflection points for conflict and inequity. There is NO WAY I would have been able to do this without everyone’s input. So thank you those who helped accomplish this monumental venture.


I absolutely adore this show. Everyone is awful in the best way. The writing is so sharp. I’ve watched both seasons twice…
Planning on sitting down and going through this series soon so thanks so much for compiling it!

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And I’d like to express my gratitude to you for running these sessions, Jim. Thank you!

It was a wonderful learning experience. I remember during the first session being surprised that we were going to try to find a storyform in each episode (I’d thought we were doing one for the season only!), and I was a bit skeptical if that was possible. But lo and behold 60 or 90 minutes later we had found the storyforms for the first two!

This shift in thinking has made me much more aware of the possibility of individual episode storyforms within a larger one. And it’s helping with my own work – a story that was intended to be a single novel which ballooned while I wrote it and ended up 360,000 words. During revision I split it into a trilogy at reasonable points. Now after our Succession analysis I can see the possibility for a storyform in each volume. I’m not sure they’re fully realized (maybe only to the Concern level), or I might be fooling myself that they’re even there. But just thinking about things this way is exciting!

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