Since I am working with Dramatica I was using it with the intention to develop my story ideas from scratch.
For any idea I wanted to figure out first what kind of OS, MC, OC AND RS issues and other elements my idea describes best.
This takes usually some time and many trial and errors until I find a storyform which I feel is ok for my idea…
As this long process takes energy out of the writing process itself I was looking for a different approach.
As I am still astonished how close for some ideas the results „feels“ to my intention I want to share the approach.
Instead of doing it the old way I am just starting with a simple logline.
Here is how:
For the Logline I use a simple template which I found on masterclass.com
Logline = [protagonist] + [inciting incident] + [protagonist’s goal] + [central conflict]
For my idea and try to find for each element a short paragraph.
Here is an example for an idea I just found on the net: mom and dad trade jobs for a day
Logline = [overworked and impulsive dad] + [they made a bet at their 50 birthday party] + [survive the day] + [its not a mans world]
Logline could something like: overworked and impulsive dad made a bet to trade jobs for a day with his wife. He must survive one day but what he has to face he would never have expected
The next thing I do is looking which Dramatica Element fits my [protagonist’s goal] description. This I will use in Dramatica as the OS Solution as first selection.
In my example: survive a day. = Ability (Being able to survive a day) seems a good fit.
First selection in Dramatica is
OS Solution: Ability
Next, I select the Goal.
For my example I go for Conceptualizing has the switching of jobs seems to have a lot to do with Manipulation.
The next selections depend on the story idea and my intent as author.
- Resolve Change
- Outcome Failure: ends in Desaster
- Judgment Good: Change was needed and good
- MC Domain: Universe
- Style: Male
- Driver: Decision
- Limit: Time
Last step. I upload the form to subtext and see what the premise says.
For my example it says:
Peace of mind awaits those who get out of their way and adapt to something even if it means failing to scheme about something
With a simple logline and a few clicks in Dramatica I have a pretty good idea what most of the Dramatica elements have to do with my story.
Without looking to the OC or RS elements yet, comparing Logline, Premise and my writing intention it „feels“ good.
From my expierence it especially works well for ideas which I carried along with me quite some time. I have the “feeling” now earlier in the process hit the nail … at least much better than before ;o).
FYI: Storyform for the example
OS CONCERN: Conceptualizing
ISSUE: Sense of Self vs. State of Being
MC CONCERN: The Past
ISSUE: Interdiction vs. Prediction
OC CONCERN: Memory
ISSUE: Suspicion vs. Evidence
RS CONCERN: Understanding
ISSUE: Conditioning vs. Instinct