Choosing an Objective Domain for Your Story

The Objective Story Domain is the throughline which describes how all of the story’s characters have been brought together. By choosing this Domain, the author sets the background against which the story will be told. Therefore, its influence is gently felt throughout the story.

A UNIVERSE story deals with an unacceptable situation – one in which the external environment is seen as problematic. This could be a job situation with poor working conditions, being trapped in a sunken ship, waking up as someone else, living next to an orphanage that keeps you awake at night with its screaming waifs or any other intolerable state of affairs.

Often, the best way to see a Universe Objective Story is in terms of the Types below the Class of Universe: The Past, Progress, The Future, and The Present. These Types will be of primary importance to all the Objective Characters in a Universe Objective Story.

A PHYSICS story employs an activity that needs to arrive at a solution. This might be the effort to steal the crown Jewels, win the love of your heart’s desire, make the Olympic team, or raise the money to buy the orphanage and evict all the screaming waifs.

Note that if the existence of the orphanage is the focus of the story, it is a Universe (Universe) Domain. However, if the effort to buy it is the focus, it is a Physics (Physics) Domain.

Often, the best way to see a Physics Objective Story is in terms of the Types below the Class of Physics: Doing, Learning, Understanding, and Obtaining. These Types will be of primary importance to all the Objective Characters in a Physics Objective Story.

In a like manner, the Mind Domain reflects a state of mind and the Psychology Domain describes a mental activity (or manner of thinking).

Mind Domain stories might be about prejudice, a lack of self-worth (if it is a fixed view), or a refusal to see the value of someone’s desires. Remember that, as an Objective Story Domain, these fixed states of Mind will be the source of the problems that everyone in the Objective Story deals with. This would be an Objective view of problems of fixed states of mind, and not looking at how it feels to have these fixations.

Often, the best way to see a Mind Objective Story is in terms of the Types below the Class of Mind: Memory, The Preconscious, The Subconscious, and The Conscious. These Types will be of primary importance to all the Objective Characters in a Mind Objective Story.

PSYCHOLOGY Domain supports stories where people take too many risks, are egocentric, or make light of serious situations. Objective Stories of this Domain will look at the effect of a person’s or persons’ thinking in these ways to manipulate others. Placing the Objective Story in this Domain means in essence that the story will objectify Psychology, taking an Objective view of these ways of thinking and their effects. The problems that everyone in the Objective Story deals with will come from ways of thinking and their manipulations.

Often, the best way to see a Psychology Objective Story is in terms of the Types below the Class of Psychology: Conceptualizing, Being, Becoming, and Conceiving. These Types will be of primary importance to all the Objective Characters in a Psychology Objective Story.

As a final note, it is important to keep in mind that stories are often not about a problem that exists but a desire to be fulfilled.

Stories of this nature can create a much more positive feel as exemplified in a Universe story in which an heiress must spend a million dollars in 24 hours to inherit 30 million more, a Physics story where a mountaineer hopes to be the first to scale a mountain on Mars, a Mind story of unconditional love, or a Psychology story about overcoming a dependence on sedatives.

The choice of Domain narrows the playing field of a story. Without actually putting up walls, choosing a Domain shifts the focus of audience attention by establishing the center around which broad scale dynamics will revolve. The Dramatica engine is calibrated to this center.

Excerpted from
Dramatica Story Development Software

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