Dramatica Definition: Desire

Desire • Most terms in Dramatica are used to mean only one thing. Thought, Knowledge, Ability, and Desire, however, have two uses each, serving both as Variations and Elements. This is a result of their role as central considerations in both Theme and Character


[Element] • dyn.pr. Ability<–>Desire • the motivation toward something better • The Desire element is the essence of motivation. A characteristic representing Desire is mindful of a future in which situation or circumstances are improved. This does not mean that it is unhappy with what it has but rather that it can imagine something better. On the plus side, Desire primes the characteristic to seek to better its environment or itself. On the minus side, Desire is not always coupled with an ability to achieve that which is Desired. In this case, Desire may no longer be felt as a positive motivator but as a negative lack and may become a measurement of one’s limitations and constraints • syn. drive, motivational goal, unfulfillment, source of discontent, essence of motivation •

dyn.pr. Ability<–>Desire • the motivation toward something better • Desire describes an awareness that something better exists than what currently is. This doesn’t mean things have to be bad now, just that one perceives something better. The key word here is “perceives.” Desires are based not on what is truly better but on what one imagines will be better. Often there is a large gap between the two. (Recall the story of the dog with the bone which jumped into the pond to get the bone from his reflection and ended up with no bone at all.) Little tension is produced if a character can try out his desires at no cost. But great tension is produced when he must give up something good forever in the belief that something else is better. (“Do you want [desire] what’s in the box or what’s behind door number 3?”) • syn. want, favor, like, covet, prefer, wish, aspire