Author Archives: Sheldon

Dramatica Class: Mental Sex

The following is a transcript from an online class in story structure presented by the co-creator of Dramatica, Melanie Anne Phillips signed on as Dramatica: Dramatica:  Okay, we move on to Mental Sex… This question is not about the gender … Continue reading

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Stories with “Be-er” Main Characters

STORIES that have Approach of Be-er: A Doll’s House: As a child in her father’s home, and as a wife in her husband’s home, Nora does everything in her power to adapt herself to her environment-even to the detriment of … Continue reading

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Male vs. Female Problem Solving

All too often in stories, relationships and interchanges between characters of different sexes come off stilted, unbelievable, or contrived. In fact, since the author is writing from the perspective of only one of the two sexes, characters of the opposite … Continue reading

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Dramaticapedia – “Ability”

What’s “Ability” have to do with story structure? If you look in Dramatica’s “Periodic Table of Story Elements” chart (you can download a free PDF of the chart at ) you’ll find the “ability” in one of the little … Continue reading

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Dramatica – Where’d the Idea Come From?

Chris Huntley and I began our exploration of story structure in 1980. He and I had met a few years earlier while we were both attending the University of Southern California and both making short films. I had left school … Continue reading

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Players vs. Characters

In an earlier discussion of what sets the Objective Characters apart from the Subjective Characters, we described how Objective Characters represent dramatic functions in a story whereas Subjective Characters represent points of view.  The Progagonist is an example of an … Continue reading

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Throughlines (and how to use them!)

Some time ago I described the difference between the two basic forms of story structure with the following phrase: You spin a tale, but you weave a story. The common expression “spinning a yarn” conjures up the image of a … Continue reading

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