# Slicing and Dicing Stories

A writer asks: On the FAQ’s of the dramatica website, it explains short stories as (condensed):

Short stories typically do not go to the depth of a full story and epics usually have one “main” story embellished with lots of short sub stories

There are basically two different approaches to using Dramatica with “short form” works:

1. Cover all of the story points quickly (time wise).

Or.

2. Spend more time illustrating the story points, but limit the scope.

My question is:

When you say “limit the scope” do you mean limit the amount of “story points that you explore” ?

I guess that is how I am taking it … as being the opposite of #1 where you cover all the points but with less detail (quickly)

thanks

Kyle

Hi, Kyle.

Limiting the scope is what we call “slicing and dicing” the Dramatica model.

Are you familiar with the “3-D” tower version of the Dramatica Structural chart? It looks like a cross between a Rubik’s Cube and a 3-D chess set. It has four levels, split into four separate “towers.” Well, the four vertical levels provide depth to a story and the four individual areas covered by the towers provide breadth.

So, you can “limit” a story to keep it short by either cutting it down to two or even one tower (like having just a Main and Impact character, but no overall story or subjective personal story, or vice versa), or you can cut it short by limiting the depth (such as having a plot and characters, but no thematic issues.)

The important thing to remember is that if you limit a story, don’t step out of those limits, even a little bit. The minute you move into a larger or deeper area, the audience will assume your message is bigger and expect your argument to cover all that ground. If you only dabble with a few story points in that area, then it will look as if you are failing to make a complete argument, rather than just adding a little extra breadth or depth.

It is much more powerful to make a complete argument within the scope you have outlined for your story, than to appear to make an incomplete argument with a larger scope.

Hope this helps.