A Dramatica user recently noticed that Elements (the smallest, most detailed story points in Dramatica) are in different arrangements at the bottom of each of the four Dormains. In other words, he was wondering why the “floor” moved. (Click here to download a PDF of the Dramatica Table of Story Elements).
Here’s my reply….
Think of each of the four Domains as four different kinds of filters through which to see the story’s problem. They look at the effects of the problem in terms of Internal and External and divide each of those realms into States and Processes, creating the four Domains – Situation (external state), Attitude (internal state), Activities (external processes), Manipulation (internal processes, psychology or manners of thinking).
By the time you look all the way down to the greatest detail at the element level at the bottom of each Domain, you are seeing the same elements because you are looking at the same central core of the problem – the event horizon of the problem, as it were. Though they are the same elements, because of the four different filters, they appear distorted. It doesn’t change their names (the nature of the elements) but the distortion changes the way they appear to group together. So, while the same elements appear at the bottom of each Domain, the way they are arranged is different due to that distortion.
Always keep in mind that you never actually see the real inequity that is at the heart of the story directly It does not appear as being any particular story point or arrangement of story points. Rather, the inequity exists in the relationships among all the story points. It is the tension created by the gravitational pull of each story point upon all the others (actually the psychological pull, which acts like gravity in a storyform) that describes the effects of that inequity. When the planets are out of alignment – essentially meaning that there is tension in the storyform map of the story mind’s psychology – then there is inequity. And it is that inequity that leads to the unwinding of the story, act by act and scene by scene, like a Rubik’s cube being turned, seeking entropy – equity – in a realignment of all the forces into a stable balance once again.
The true inequity that causes the problem sits at the center of the story, in the middle of all the story points, guiding the celestial psychological orbits of the story points not unlike the unseen black hole at the center of our galaxy. And the elements revolve around it like separate solar systems of mental processes, both logic and passion, wheels within wheels within the space-time of the mind.