Trying to write a scene - a walkthrough

[This turned out to be long. Thanks already for reading!]

Hello, everyone! I am looking for some understanding of the general anatomy of a scene, and the scene writing process.

So, my scene is OS / Learning / Fate. I have an inspiration of what happens in that scene. It’s a chase scene and the threats of the story’s world are introduced in it. The MC has to decide what these events mean for her and what course of action she will take.

(Q1) What are the tools to use here? (And I am talking of tools especially because my prime objective right now is to understand Dramatica.) I know that it is a scene. And a scene will require four events. It also needs a conflict.

According to Perfect Scene Structure, I have four modalities to work with. I am not sure how to do SRCA. I am guessing it is because I have not seen an illustration. Let me take a stab at it.

S - Setup - The chase sequence happens
R - Revelation - It is revealed why the chase happened and why the MC is under threat [Fate]
C - Conflict - Heated arguments over next actions [Fate], emotions rise over the nature of events.
A - Aftermath - A decision is made, friendly interactions happen.

Then, I, the writer, move on to the next scene, which is OS / Learning / Prediction.

Is that a decent understanding? What about PRCO? How do I use PRCO here to weave more detail into the scene? Do the four SRCA events need to represent all four of the classes?

Apparently, PRCO is about amplifying the author’s message. For the sake of this example, my message is that the MC is incredibly logical and accepting of events. Instead of struggling with the existence of fantastical beings, she is concerned about what this means for her and what her next action is supposed to be. She is looking for a mental model here. I want that quality to shine through.

How does PRCO apply here? Does the PRCO apply over the C scene from SRCA, or the entire scene that SRCA illustrates can now be modulated using PRCO? How do I locate P and R? I am assuming this is in terms of Dramatica Variations / Elements, and a quad is involved somewhere. But how do I locate it? I know that it is my opinion that decides P + R, it is my choice of what they are going to be, but I just don’t the terms in which I define P + R.

Put differently, my issue is that I am stuck as thinking of PRCO / SRCA / KTAD / PASS as functions / containers, but I am unable to visualize the content of those containers. Borrowing a programming analogy, I have constructed a function with lots of variables, but I don’t know their relations, I don’t know the procedures that involve those variables, and most importantly, I do not understand the possible values of the variables.

There is a cause for conflict, it can escalate / de-escalate based on something, setting in motion an interplay between characters / elements, and finally resulting in something that is obviously negative / positive. Where do I locate these components in Dramatica?

(In my scene, the outcome could be that the MC is impressively logical, or rather a strong friendship has been setup. The two characters have experienced awe and admiration.)

Next is KTAD. Is it that…

SRCA are the four events, all describing the PRCO circuit. Each of the SRCA events is going to fall into one of the four classes.

Is that it? Or is there more to KTAD?

From the earlier article,

If SRCA represents the temporal progression of a dramatic unit, and PRCO represents the spatial relationship between the components, then TKAD defines the knowledge base—or area of conflict—within each event.

So, there are four events, and each belongs to a different class. Is that it? Do we stop at classifying the events into classes, or does that help us with something more? Or is it simply a way for quality control, to ensure that we have all four classes covered?

I won’t be much help to you on this, but this question…

… is addressed in the article here:

Chris and Melanie purposefully left out the 1234 and PRCO of the dramatic circuits:

They vanquished the monster of perfect story structure before it saw the light of day. A glimpse of the SRCA progression lies within the progression of Signposts found within each Throughline—but that’s it. Until the day we meet that monster, Authors can simply set the SRCA and PRCO of their Scenes to the best of their abilities and with the purpose of providing meaning to their Audience.

There’s no way to access this information in the software, for better or worse.

Oh I can see how my question can cause that misunderstanding. I wasn’t really asking for the dramatica element level report, but rather looking for an example of PRCO.

To rephrase, I have a scene, illustrated in SRCA and now I want to enrich the scene with PRCO. How do I accurately describe what the P/R/C/O of the scenes are? Are they subjective or Objective? In short, I am looking for instances of P/R/C/O and how to apply PRCO to enhance a scene.

Ah, I see. :smile: Maybe these blog posts will help?

The First Dramatica Scene analysis

Further defining Potential, Resistance, and Outcome

Edit To Add: Searching PRCO on this board should turn up a ton of discussion and examples. :+1:

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Thank you, this helps!
Also, I did try searching but didn’t really find an in depth discussion. The articles are exactly what I am looking for.

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I’m not sure if you’ve seen it @thewinster but I always look back at Jim’s example in this thread:


Wow, this thread seems to be exactly what I am looking for. Missed it in Search.


This might also help to get startet writing scenes with Dramatica.