Know Your Story Points: Overall Story Concern

Excerpted from our Dramatica Story Structuring Software:

Overall Story Concern:  the purposes or interests sought after by the characters overall.

Within the scenario in which your story takes place, there is an area of shared importance to all the characters in your story.  Select the item(s) that best describes this Concern.

THEORY:  Problems can manifest themselves in several ways.  Therefore, simply defining the nature of a Problem does not necessarily predict its effect.

For example, if the Problem is that there is not enough money to pay the rent, it might motivate one person to take to drink but another to take a second job.

The effects of a Problem are not necessarily bad things, but simply things that would not have happened quite that way without the existence of the Problem.  So it is with Concerns.

The choice of Concern determines the principal area affected by the story’s Problem and serves as a broad indicator of what the story is about.

USAGE:  The Concern of a story tends to revolve around a definable area of activity or exploration.  This central hub may be internal such as Memories or Conceiving an Idea (coming up with an idea).  Or, it may be external such as Obtaining or How Things are Changing.

When choosing a Concern it is often useful to ask, “Which of these items do I want the characters in my story to examine?”

Keep in mind that the Concern only describes WHAT is being looked at.  HOW to look at it is determined by choosing the Issue.

The choice of Concern sets limits on how much dramatic ground the Theme can potentially encompass and therefore includes some kinds of considerations and excludes others.