The Process of Problem Solving

So far we have only identified the difference between problem solving and justification in terms of the results they create. From this point of view, no character can tell for sure if he is on the right or the wrong track until he sees the results. This is fine for the characters, but an author will want to fashion a story so that judgment is passed on each action and decision as it is taken. This is what constitutes the theme of the story and builds the emotional side of the story’s argument event by event until (hopefully) the audience is buried under overwhelming evidence to support the author’s message and contentions.

Note the difference between the result-oriented rational argument and the more holistic passionate argument. In a story, when all is said and done, the author hopes to convince the audience of his point of view both in terms of its reasonable nature and that it simply feels good as well. In this manner, the audience members adopt the author’s bias on the issue and are moved to alter their behavior accordingly in their everyday life. In a broader sense, participating in the story has added to the life experience of the audience and will affect their future choices for problem solving.

To carry an emotional appeal to an audience, a story must not only show the results of a method of problem solving, but must document the appropriateness of each step as well. To do this as an author requires an understanding of the process of problem solving and its justification counterpart.

From the Dramatica Theory Book

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