Dramatica Dictionary: R

Rationalization • [Variation] dyn.pr. Obligation<–>Rationalization • an alternative explanation used to mask the real reason • Rationalization is the attempt to have your cake and eat it too. When a character expects that catering to his desires will bring about some cost or punishment, he tries to do what he’d like in a way he thinks will avoid retribution. One way is to come up with an excuse. Rationalization involves fabricating an artificial reason for one’s attitude or actions that will excuse them. The reason must make sense as being a possible actual cause of the character’s activities. In fact, it might very well have been the reason, except that it wasn’t, which is what makes it a Rationalization. • syn. fabricated excuse, ulterior explanation, false justification, artificial reason

Reach • [Overview Appreciation] • the manner in which the audience identifies with the Main Character, through Empathy or Sympathy • The Reach of a story describes the relationship between the audience and the Main Character. An audience might Empathize with a Main Character in which case the audience identifies with the Main Character and sees the story through his eyes. Alternatively, an audience might Sympathize with the Main Character in which case it stands next to the Main Character as if it were a close acquaintance. The story dynamics that determine Empathy or Sympathy are different for men than for women. Women tend to identify and Empathize with a Main Character of either sex who is limited by a Optionlock. Men tend to only Empathize with male Main Characters. Women tend to Sympathize with a Main Character of either sex who is limited by a timelock. Men tend only to Sympathize with female Main Characters. As a result of these dynamics, sometimes both women and men will Empathize, sometimes women only, sometimes men only, sometimes neither (both will Sympathize). It should be noted that these are tendencies only. Training, experience, and personal choice in any individual audience member can slip the balance wholly to the other side. Nevertheless, at the subconscious level these tendencies will hold true.

Reaction • [Element] dyn.pr. Proaction<–>Reaction • actions made in response • The Reaction characteristic leads a character to strike back at the source of a problem. Reaction is less precipitous than Proaction requiring the problem to materialize before it acts. It does not take preemptive first strikes nor does it turn the other cheek. As a result, it often waits too long to tackle a problem that could easily have been prevented, then gets in a brawl that actually becomes a problem. Many authors try to pit one Proactive character against another. This actually diminishes the drama of the conflict as both characters are taking the same approach. By making one character Proactive and another Reactive, a much more real and powerful interaction is created. • syn. response, reply, acting from stimulus, goaded to action

Reappraisal • [Variation] dyn.pr. Appraisal<–>Reappraisal • reconsideration of a previous determination • When one has made an initial appraisal as to where preliminary evidence seems to be leading, there comes a time when one must make a Reappraisal of the evidence to see if its direction has changed. This tends to keep one on the right track. But characters, like everyday people, are influenced by what has occurred most recently — “What have you done for me lately?” As a result, during Reappraisal a character might discount the body of evidence in favor of that which is most fresh in his mind. • syn. reassess, rechecking, checking up, re-examining a conclusion, reevaluating a conclusion

Reason • [Archetype] • An Archetypal Character who represents the qualties of Logic and Control • The Reason Archetypal Character evaluates and acts solely on the basis of calm logic, never becoming enraged, passionate or emotionally involved in a decision. Although common in simple stories, the Reason character is hard to empathize with. As a result, it is one of the characters most often altered slightly from its archetypal arrangement to provide more potential for empathy from the audience. A frequent choice is to swap the trait of calm with the Emotional character’s trait of frenzy. The result is that both characters become more interesting, the Reason character being both logical and frenetic, the Emotional character being highly passionate yet in control

Reconsider • [Element] dyn.pr. Consider<–>Reconsider • think through again • The Reconsideration characteristic represents the drive to re-examine one’s conclusions to see if they are still valid. This leads to a pragmatic approach to one’s own beliefs but also undermines resolve with every new obstacle that crosses one’s path. • syn. re-examining conclusions, rethinking, to mull over again, further deliberation, additional scrutiny

Reduction • [Element] dyn.pr. Production<–>Reduction • a method of thought that determines probability • Reduction is a process of thought that compares the likelihood of several incomplete lines of deduction. Sometimes there is not enough information to fully deduce the ultimate truth in a matter. However, there is enough information to narrow the field of possibilities. When all the possibilities are considered, each can be rated on its individual merits as to how much each has. The potentialities are compared, arriving at the most likely conclusion. This allows the Reduction characteristic to act with a greater degree of confidence than if no “favorite” theory or explanation had emerged. Of course, dealing with incomplete data is a horse race where even the most unlikely explanation may surge ahead when the last piece is in place and prove to be the actual fact of the matter. It is when the Reduction characteristic gives probability the weight of certainty or fails to reevaluate that problems can arise. • syn. determining probability, comparisons of potentiality, measurement of likelihood, judging probabilities

Reevaluation • [Element] dyn.pr. Evaluation<–>Reevaluation • reappraisal of a situation or circumstances • Reevaluation is the act of reconsidering one’s first impressions. This may be in regard to a person, situation, goal, or even oneself. Reevaluation is a helpful characteristic in dispelling incorrect initial assessments of the meaning behind things, but is a real drawback when a person or situation conspires to lure one’s understanding away from an accurate Evaluation. Perhaps a series of coincidences or a concerted effort can present information that conflicts with an earlier Evaluation that was actually quite on the mark. A character containing the Reevaluation characteristic can be swayed by new misleading information and form new, mistaken understandings. • syn. reappraisal, further assessment, subsequent analysis, scrutiny of first impressions

Repulsion • [Variation] dyn.pr. Attraction<–>Repulsion • disattration; pushing or being pushed away from • A character’s path to his goal is blocked by many curtains. The future beyond each cannot be seen until he has passed through to the other side. Sometimes the curtain itself is attractive, encouraging one to continue. Other times it is negative, indicating danger or loss, or that something unsavory lies behind. This is the nature of Repulsion. The warning is, “I’d go back if I were you” or “Don’t spit into the wind.” But does the curtain truly represent something distasteful that waits beyond or is it simply a false front, a mask to scare off the less tenacious? • syn. unattractive, repellent, foreboding, unsavory, pushing away, forcing back

Requirements (Objective Storyline) • [Type] • the necessary pre-cursors to achieving the goal • Achieving a goal is not a one-step activity. Rather, all the cogs and wheels of a situation must be adjusted and realigned first in order to enable the goal. That can entail taking a certain number of steps in sequence and/or involve “tuning” the orchestra of the dramatics until they support the harmony of the goal. Both the sequential and holistic approach to these pre-requisites and pre-conditions are described by the nature of the overall requirement to achieving the goal. In other words, the requirement describes the condition requisite to the goal and is made up of pre-requisites and pre-conditions.

Resolve • [Character Dynamic] • the ultimate dispostion of the Main Character to Change or Remain Steadfast • There are two major ways in which an author can illustrate the best way to solve the problem explored in a story. One is to show the proper way of going about solving the problem, the other is to show the wrong way to solve the problem. To illustrate the proper way, your Main Character should hold on to his resolve and remain steadfast because he truly is on the right path. To illustrate the improper way of dealing with a problem, your Main Character must change for he is going about it the wrong way.

Responsibility • [Variation] dyn.pr. Commitment<–>Responsibility • taking, accepting, or assuming control to the exclusion of others • Responsibility is a determination of who will have control and also be held accountable should control not be successfully exercised. Responsibility can be taken, given, assumed, and relinquished. In practice, the desire for power or control often leads individuals to leverage a position as decision maker to the exclusion of others. The drive that grows from self-interest is Responsibility. The problem occurs when a character believes he knows what is best for someone and that someone doesn’t agree. “It’s for your own good,” and “This is going to hurt me more than you” are two expressions that exemplify this attitude. Sometimes the character is right in believing he knows best, other times not. Responsibility can both be given or taken, assumed or presumed, accepted or declined. • syn. assumed propriety, believed appropriateness, self designated aptness, accepted suitability

Result • [Element] dyn.pr. Process<–>Result • the product of a process; the ramifications of a specific effect • Result is a holistic view of all the pertinent end products of a process. When a cause generates an effect, how does the effect upset the overall balance of a situation? In a balance of power, one must consider the results of arming an ally not just the immediate effect of strengthening its military. The character possessing the Result characteristic considers the ripples that might occur because of a given effect. The negative aspect is that it often over-thinks the situation until its considerations are ranging far beyond the scope of any real concerns. This can inhibit useful actions for insignificant reasons. Stop a new factory that will create jobs to protect a previously unknown species of gnat? It depends on the scope of the concern. • syn. ramifications of an effect, consequence, repercussion, impact, end product