Every story has a mind of its own, as if it were a single chcaracter, a single person. The Dramatica theory of story structure includes a chart, sort of a “periodic table,” that maps out four different levels of consideration of the story mind. T
he bottom level (Elements) describes the story mind’s motivations, and has the greatest impact on character. The next level up (Variations) represents the story mind’s value standards and is seen the story’s theme. The third level from the bottom (Types) describes the story mind’s methods of problem solving and is made manifest in the plot. At the top, the fouth and final lvel (Classes) ourlines the story mind’s purposes and has the greatests structural impact on genre.
Taken together, all four levels can be seen as a map of the topical or thematic aspects of all the dramatic elements in a story.