Dramatica Definition: Storyencoding

Storyencoding • [Dramatica Term] • The process of developing a dramatic structure into specific symbols, events, and scenarios• There are four stages in the process of communication from author to audience. They are: Storyforming, Storyencoding, Storyweaving, and Storyreception. Storyforming establishes the underlying dramatic structure of a story. Storyencoding turns raw story points into specific scenarios, events, and dialog. Storyweaving determines how the encoded story points will be revealed or unfolded to the audience. Storyreception refines the story to tailor it for a specific audience. In practice, most authors work creatively in more than one stage at a time. Dramatica separates the stages, allowing an author to seek specific help and information regarding any part of the process. In keeping with this approach, Storyencoding has its own purpose, yet relates to the other three stages as well. As an example, one author might begin with Storyforming and then continue to Storyencoding. Another might begin with Encoding and then approach Forming. As an example, Author #1 makes a Storyform decision that the Goal of his story should be Obtaining. Then, in Storyencoding, he illustrates or employs Obtaining as “The Goal is to Obtain a Buried Treasure.” Author #2 might begin in Storyencoding, writing, “The Goal is to win Jan’s love.” Then, developing the structure that supports that story point, the Author #2 approaches Storyforming, and out of all the structural choices, picks “Obtaining” as Storyforming item that best describes his story’s Goal. Any given Storyforming item can be encoded in any number of ways. And, any already encoded story point might be interpreted as any one of the Storyforming items. Regardless of which order is taken, associating a Storyforming item with an encoded story point clarifies the dramatic essence of the structure, as illustrated in a given form. This allows an author to more precisely develop the overall story in a consistent and complete manner.

From the Dramatica Dictionary

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