Dramatica Dictionary: S

Scene • [Dramatica Definition] • a temporal unit of dramatic construction usually employed in Plays, Screenplays, and Teleplays. • Although there is some variation, Scene is usually defined as all of the dramatic events which occur in a single place and time until either place or time changes. In Screenplays and Teleplays, Scenes are numbered in the original draft sequentially according to every change in location or time. For example, each scene would begin with the format, INT or EXT (for Interior or Exterior) followed by the location’s name, such as JOE’S GARAGE. The final information is the time, which in Screenplays is usually limited to DAY or NIGHT, although other variations occur if absolutely necessary to convey specifics. Most Stage Plays are divided into Acts, which represent complete dramatic movements in the overall story. Each Act is usually sub-divided into two or three Scenes, which are identified as all the action and dialog which takes place in a single location and time. So, Act 1, Scene 2 might be: Joe’s Garage ~ later that evening. A less common usage of “Scene” is as a unit representing a complete dramatic movement, such as an argument that begins, develops, and resolves. Although in a dramatic sense this is a useful application of the word, in practice, complete dramatic movements are often segmented and intermixed for storytelling purposes to create parallel action, delayed payoffs, and many other interest generating techniques. In keeping with the most common definition, Dramatica uses “Scene” to mean everything that takes place consecutively in a single place and time.

Security • [Variation] dyn.pr. Threat<–>Security • an evaluation of one’s defenses and protections • Before one can expand to greater achievements, it is important to protect what one has already achieved. When a character is concerned with Security, he builds defenses against threats both known and anticipated. However, actual dangers may or may not fall within the ability of the protections to keep one secure. Subjectively, a character must determine when he feels secure, based on his experience. For example, a famous comedian once related that he always bought so many groceries he had to throw many away when they spoiled. This, he said, was because he had gone hungry so often as a child. When a character’s experiences motivate him to over or under prepare for dangers, Security may actually become a danger itself. • syn. evaluation of safety, measure of safeguards, appraisal of one’s protections, gauge of defenses

Self-Aware • [Element] dyn.pr. Aware<–>Self-Aware • being conscious of one’s own existence • When a character possesses Self-Awareness he fully appreciates all his feelings, thoughts, abilities, and knowledge. Everything he experiences or observes is couched in terms of his own point of view. As the downside, he may not be able to understand that some things that happen don’t pertain to him at all and in fact happen best without him. • syn. self-conscious, conscious of one’s existence, self-perceiving, self-appreciating, self-cognizant

Self-Interest • [Variation] dyn.pr. Morality<–>Self-Interest • doing or being based on what is best for oneself • In its pure form, Self-Interest is defined as the quality of ALWAYS choosing what is best for oneself with NO consideration as to the effect on others. This does not require ill intent toward others. A character who is Self-Interested simply focuses on the personal ramifications of decisions. In fact, in stories that show the evil nature of an oppressive society or regime, Self-Interest can be a very positive thing. • syn. self-serving, self-centered, narcissistic, selfishness, self-absorbed, egocentric

Sense-Of-Self • [Variation] dyn.pr. State of Being<–>Sense of Self • one’s perception of oneself • Simply put, Sense of Self is our own Self Image. A character may not truly know who he is but he always knows who he thinks he is. This inward-looking view may be right on the mark or not even close. The difficulty a character has is that from inside himself it is impossible to be sure who he is. All he can do is take clues from the reaction of those around him. Interesting storytelling sometimes places a character among those who provide a warped feedback that creates a false Sense of Self in the character. This erroneous image may be far better, far worse, or simply different than his actual state of being. Other stories force a character to come to grips with the fact that he is wrong about himself, and the opinions of others are accurate. In a Main Character, the differential between Sense of Self and State of Being is part of what separates the Subjective from the Objective story lines. • syn. perception of self, self image, self identity, self attribution

Senses • [Variation] dyn.pr. Interpretation<–>Senses • sensory observations • Senses refers to the raw data supplied to the mind to interpret. Sometimes the data is accurate, other times it is faulty even before the mind gets hold of it. Senses describes the overall accuracy of an observation (such as seeing a crime or checking the results of a test). When taken in conjunction with its Dynamic Pair of Interpretation, all manner of error or accuracy can be created. This provides the author with a powerful storytelling tool to create comedies and tragedies based in error and misunderstanding. • syn. perceptual data, raw sensations, sensory impressions, immediate impressions, perceptions

Sidekick • [Archetype] • An Archetypal Character who represents the qualities of Faith and Support • The Sidekick is the absolutely faithful and supportive member of the Archetypal character set. Although frequently attached to the Protagonist, the Sidekick is identified by what his qualities are, not by who he is working for. In fact, the Sidekick might be attached to the Antagonist or not attached at all. His function is to represent the qualities of faith and support, not specifically to be in service of any other character. However, if the Sidekick is bound to the Protagonist, he can be effectively used to mirror the Author’s feelings about the conduct of the Protagonist. Moving scenes can be created by a misguided Protagonist actually alienating the faithful, supportive Sidekick. Although the Sidekick would never turn against the Protagonist, he can turn away from him, leaving rather that being a party to something he finds immoral or disappointing.

Situation • [Variation] dyn.pr. Circumstances<–>Situation • a logistic assessment of one’s environment • Situation describes the ins, outs, and practical considerations of the environment in which a character finds himself. Throughout a story, the situation may evolve or may remain constant, depending upon the essence of the message and the nature of the plot. Since it is limited to the practical, Situation can only be measured and/or interpreted though Reason. • syn. how things stand rationally, a reasoned evaluation of environment, arranged context, environmental state, surroundings, predicament

Skeptic • [Archetype] • An Archetypal Character possessing the qualities of disbelief and oppose • If a Sidekick is a cheer leader, a Skeptic is a heckler. The Skeptic still wants to see its team win, but doesn’t think it can and is sure this is because the team members are going about it all wrong. Therefore, the Skeptic exhibits disbelief and opposes all efforts. Of course, when the team really is misguided, the Skeptic is in fact right on track. As with all Objective Archetypes, the Skeptic applies it’s outlook to hero and villain alike. In other words, the qualities of disbelief and oppose describe the nature of the Skeptic – not just it’s opinion about a particular issue. So, the Skeptic also doubts the bad guys are as powerful (or bad) as they are said to be, and opposes them as well. One purpose of stories is to illustrate how well different personality types fare in the effort to solve a particular kind of problem. Archetypal Characters represent the most broad categories into which personality types might be categorized. The Skeptic provides the opportunity to explore how well a doubter and naysayer does in resolving the story’s troubles.

Skill • [Variation] dyn.pr. Experience<–>Skill • inexperienced ability • Skill is the innate potential to accomplish either that which is physical or mental. It does not require the practical experience necessary to tap that potential, just that the latent capacity exists. Skill might be seen as raw physical ability, talent, or intellectual or emotional aptitude which may or may not ever be developed. • syn. proficiency, aptitude, competence, adeptness, degree of expertise, practiced ability, honed ability

Solution • [Element] • the specific element needed to resolve the story’s problem • The Solution Element is the “flip side” of the Problem Element. In a Change story, for instance, the focus may be on the Problem Element (“The Main Character should not be this way”) or the focus may be on the Solution Element (“The Main Character should be this way”). So in a sense the Problem Element is not by itself the cause of the story’s problem, but works in conjunction with the Solution Element to create an imbalance between two traits that need to be balanced. The choice to present one as a negative trait defines it as the Problem Element and its positive partner becomes the Solution Element. In Steadfast stories, the Solution Element represents the nature of the things that would resolve the Objective Story Problem. Again it is the “flip side” of the problem, but it has exclusively to do with the Objective Story since the Main Character does not, in these cases, share the same problem as the Objective Story.

Speculation • [Element] dyn.pr. Projection<–>Speculation • an extension of possibilities into the future • Speculation is the effort to determine what could conceivably happen in the future even though it is not the most likely scenario. Speculation leads a character to expect the unlikely in the event that it actually occurs. Difficulties arise when Speculation runs rampant and a character puts effort into preparing for things that are so unlikely as to be unreasonably improbable. • syn. prognostication, surmising possibilities, conjecturing

Start • [Character Dynamic] • Regarding the Main Character, the audience is waiting for something to begin • Start means something different in a story where the Main Character has a Resolve of Change than in a story where the Main Character has a Resolve of Steadfast. If the Main Character must Change because he lacks an essential trait, then he must Start doing or being something they currently are not. If the Main Character is holding out Steadfastly until something begins in his environment, then he is waiting for something to Start. The term simply describes an aspect of the growth which happens in the Main Character.

State-of-Being • [Variation] dyn.pr. Sense of Self<–>State-of-Being • one’s true nature • State of Being describes the actual nature of a character. The character himself is often not aware of the true nature of his being. In fact, there may be no one at all who fully understands all that he is. However, in the communication between Author and Audience, the essence of a character must be fully explained or the story’s message will be obscured. • syn. essence, one’s true self, true self, essential nature, core being

Steadfast Character {Character Appreciation} • the Subjective Character who ultimately retains his essential nature from the beginning of the story to the end of story • Every Subjective Character (both the Main and Obstacle Character) represents one special character element. This element is either the cause of the story’s problem or its solution. The Subjective Character cannot be sure which he represents since it is too close to home. Near the climax of the story, each Subjective Character must demonstrate whether he has stuck with his approach in the belief that it is the solution or jumped to the opposite trait in the belief that he is the cause of the problem. There will only be one Steadfast Character in every story, however when a Subjective Character decides to stick with his story-long approach, he is said to Remain Steadfast.

Steadfast • [Character Dynamic] • The Main Character ultimately retains his essential nature • Every Main Character represents one special character element. This element is either the cause of the story’s problem or its solution. The Main Character cannot be sure which he represents since it is too close to home. Near the climax of the story, the Main Character must demonstrate whether he has stuck with his original approach in the belief that it is the solution or jumped to the opposite trait in the belief he has been wrong. When a Main Character decides to stick with his story-long approach, he is said to remain Steadfast.

Stop • [Character Dynamic] • Regarding the Main Character, the audience is waiting for something to end • Stop means something different in a story where the Main Character has a Resolve of Change than in a story where the Main Character has a Resolve of Steadfast. If the Main Character Changes because he possesses a detrimental trait, then he Stops doing or being something he has been. If the Main Character is Steadfast in holding out for something outside himself to be brought to a halt, he is hoping that it will Stop. The term simply describes an aspect of the growth which happens in the Main Character.

Story Mind • The central concept from which Dramatica was derived is the notion of the Story Mind. Rather than seeing stories simply as a number of characters interacting, Dramatica sees the entire story as an analogy to a single human mind dealing with a particular problem. This mind, the Story Mind, contains all the characters, themes, and plot progressions of the story as incarnations of the psychological processes of problem solving. In this way, each story explores the inner workings of the mind so that we (as audience) may take a more objective view of our decisions and indecisions and learn from the experience.

Story versus Tale • A tale describes a problem and the attempt to solve it, ultimately leading to success or failure in the attempt. In contrast, a story makes the argument that out of all the approaches that might be tried, the Main Character’s approach uniquely leads to success or failure, or is at least the best or worst. In a success scenario, the story acts as a message promoting the approach exclusively; in the failure scenario, the story acts as a message exclusively against that specific approach. Tales are useful in showing that a particular approach is or is not a good one. Stories are useful in promoting that a particular approach is the only good one or the only bad one. As a result of these differences, tales are frequently not as complex as stories and tend to be more straight forward with fewer subplots and thematic expansions. Both tales and stories are valid and useful structures, depending upon the intent of the author to either illustrate how a problem was solved with a tale or to argue how to solve a specific kind of problem with a story.

Storyform • [Dramatica Term] • The underlying dramatic skeleton of a story • When a story is stripped of all its details and Storytelling, what is left are the appreciations and thematic explorations that make up a Storyform. When a story fully illustrates the Storyform it is working from it will make a complete argument without any “plot holes” because the argument of a story is its Storyform.

Storyforming versus Story telling • There are two parts to every communication between author and audience: the storyforming and the storytelling. Storyforming deals with the actual dramatic structure or blueprint that contains the essence of the entire argument to be made. Storytelling deals with the specific way in which the author chooses to illustrate that structure to the audience. For example, a story might call for a scene describing the struggle between morality and self-interest. One author might choose to show a man taking candy from a baby. Another might show a member of a lost patrol in the dessert hoarding the last water for himself. Both what is to be illustrated and how it is illustrated fulfill the story’s mandate. Another way of appreciating the difference is to imagine five different artists each painting a picture of the same rose. One may look like a Picasso, one a Rembrandt, another like Van Gogh, yet each describes the same rose. Similarly, different authors will choose to tell the same Storyform in dramatically different ways.

Storyencoding • [Dramatica Term] • The process of developing a dramatic structure into specific symbols, events, and scenarios• There are four stages in the process of communication from author to audience. They are: Storyforming, Storyencoding, Storyweaving, and Storyreception. Storyforming establishes the underlying dramatic structure of a story. Storyencoding turns raw story points into specific scenarios, events, and dialog. Storyweaving determines how the encoded story points will be revealed or unfolded to the audience. Storyreception refines the story to tailor it for a specific audience. In practice, most authors work creatively in more than one stage at a time. Dramatica separates the stages, allowing an author to seek specific help and information regarding any part of the process. In keeping with this approach, Storyencoding has its own purpose, yet relates to the other three stages as well. As an example, one author might begin with Storyforming and then continue to Storyencoding. Another might begin with Encoding and then approach Forming. As an example, Author #1 makes a Storyform decision that the Goal of his story should be Obtaining. Then, in Storyencoding, he illustrates or employs Obtaining as “The Goal is to Obtain a Buried Treasure.” Author #2 might begin in Storyencoding, writing, “The Goal is to win Jan’s love.” Then, developing the structure that supports that story point, the Author #2 approaches Storyforming, and out of all the structural choices, picks “Obtaining” as Storyforming item that best describes his story’s Goal. Any given Storyforming item can be encoded in any number of ways. And, any already encoded story point might be interpreted as any one of the Storyforming items. Regardless of which order is taken, associating a Storyforming item with an encoded story point clarifies the dramatic essence of the structure, as illustrated in a given form. This allows an author to more precisely develop the overall story in a consistent and complete manner.

Storyforming • the process of creating the unique dramatic structure of a story • When an author thinks of the way he wants his story to unfold in terms of the point he wants it to make and how his characters will solve their problems, what that author is doing is Storyforming. Before Dramatica, the tendency was to actually blend the two processes of Storyforming and Storytelling together so that authors thought of what they wanted to say and how they wanted to say it more or less simultaneously. But these are really two distinct acts which can be done separately, especially with the help of Dramatica.

Storyreception • [Dramatica Term] • The process of tailoring the telling of a story to a specific audience • Every culture and sub-culture has its own lingo, taboos, and givens. As a result, most stories do not play the same for one kind of audience as for another. Storyreception seeks to anticipate and take into account the nature of the target audience to tailor the story so that it is received as intended. Although we all have the capacity to feel the same emotions and make the same logistic connections, our particular sub-culture may shy away from certain emotions, or brand a particular kind of reasoning as inappropriate. Further, just because we may empathize with the same emotions doesn’t mean we all feel as deeply, or if we see logical connections that we all grasp them as quickly. Especially when writing for audiences such as children, it is important to consider depth and speed as well as buzzwords and popular symbols. Often we can take advantage of cultural symbols to express mountains of sense and oceans of mood with a single story point. Other time we must develop an inordinate amount of media real estate to get across the most simple experiences, if they fall outside familiar cultural bounds for out audience. The important point for an author is to determine the target audience and make sure to be or become familiar enough with that audience to take cultural expectations and taboos into account. For an enlightened audience, the task is to recognize that other ingrained cultural imperatives exist, and to seek to appreciate a story in the context in which it was created.

Storytelling • [Dramatica Term] • The process of communicating a story’s dramatic structure through the developing and unfolding of symbols, events, and scenarios • We’ve all heard good jokes told poorly. We’ve all hear terrible jokes told well. When a good joke is told well, everything works together. When a bad joke is told poorly, nothing can save it. Part of what makes up a story is the underlying dramatic structure. Another part is the manner in which that structure is expressed. In a sense, Structure represents the Craft of writing, and Storytelling represents the Art. The structure itself is always invisible in the story, for it is the conceptual framework connecting all the dramatic potentials. What is visible is the embodiment of that structure in scenarios, events, and symbols, which collectively constitute the Storytelling. Storytelling, therefore, must do two jobs: entertain the audience through clever presentation and be focused enough to accurately convey the underlying structure.

Storyweaving • [Dramatica Term] • The process of unfolding a story’s dramatic structure over time • There are four stages in the process of communication from author to audience. They are: Storyforming, Storyencoding, Storyweaving, and Storyreception. Storyforming establishes the underlying dramatic structure of a story. Storyencoding turns raw story points into specific scenarios, events, and dialog. Storyweaving determines how the encoded story points will be revealed or unfolded to the audience. Storyreception refines the story to tailor it for a specific audience. Storyweaving has two aspects: Exposition and Expression. Exposition determines how information about the story will be doled out to the audience. Expression implements the Exposition in specific words, events, dialog, music, visuals, etc. When approaching Storyweaving it helps to know in advance what the story is about. Otherwise, one is trying to arrive at a consistency in presentation at the same time one is trying to determine what, in fact, ought to be presented. The Exposition aspect takes stock of all the story points and information that must be conveyed to the audience, including progressions of events which must occur in a particular order for the story to make logistic sense. Then, a plan for revealing this information is worked out so that some story points are presented directly, others are doled out over the course of the story, others are hidden, and still others are designed to first mislead the audience and then expose the fact of the matter. The Expression aspect is the most creative part of authorship. It is here that a novelist writes the actual chapters, or a Playwright pens the specific dialog. Even when the manner in which Exposition is to occur is known, the means of Expression has yet to be determined. For example, if the Exposition plan has been to reveal an important event in the backstory through a flashback, an author might choose to Express that event and the manner in which the flashback occurs in any number of ways. Collectively, Exposition and Expression translate what a story is about into the linear progression of how the story unfolds and is revealed through Storyweaving.

Strategy • [Variation] dyn.pr. Analysis<–>Strategy • a plan to achieve one’s purpose or a plan of response • The specific plan or series of interconnected plans that are intended to produce a desired result is called a Strategy. The sophistication of a strategy can range from complex to non-existent (if a character prefers to wing it). Sometimes a strategy is on the mark, other times it is completely inappropriate to its intended purpose. Either way, for the audience to appreciate its apt or inept construction, the plan must be spelled out in full. In storytelling, Strategy can define limits and draw out parameters for a story. This is a useful variation to use for connecting theme to plot. • syn. scheme, tactic, plan, ploy, decided approach

Subconscious (The Subconscious) •[Type] • dyn.pr. Preconscious<–>Subconscious • basic drives and desires • Subconscious describes the essential feelings that form the foundation of character. These feelings are so basic that a character is often not aware of what they truly are. When the Subconscious is involved, a character is moved right to the fiber of his being. • syn. libido, id, basic motivations, basic drives, anima

Subjective Story Benchmark • [Type] • The standard by which growth is measured in the Subjective Story • The Subjective Story Benchmark is the gauge that tells people how far along the Subjective story has progressed. It can’t say how much longer the story may go, but in regards to seeing how far away the concerns are, both the Main and Obstacle Characters, as well as the audience, will look to the Benchmark in order to make any kind of judgment. This Type item describes the nature of the measuring stick which will be used in the Subjective story.

Subjective Story Catalyst • [Variation] • The kind of item which serves to push the Subjective Story forward • The Subjective Story Catalyst is what creates breakthroughs and seems to accelerate the Subjective Story. In both the Objective and Subjective Stories there occur dramatic “log-jams” when things seem to be approaching a halt. This is when the Catalyst is necessary, for its introduction will either solve the puzzle that’s holding things up or else make the puzzle seem suddenly unimportant so the story can continue.

Subjective Story Concern • [Type] • The principal area of concern between the Main Character and the Obstacle Character • The nature of the things which the Main and Obstacle Characters want from their relationship; the Subjective Story Concern describes how the audience sees the concern of the Main and Obstacle character’s relationship with each other being.

Subjective Story Direction • [Element] • The direction of response in the subjective story; the apparent remedy for the symptom of the difficulties between the Main Character and The Obstacle Character • Subjective Characters do the best they can to deal with the Subjective Story Problem, but because the Main and Obstacle Characters are all looking at the problem from their subjective points of view, they can’t get enough distance to actually see the problem right away. Instead they focus on the effects of the problem, which is called the Subjective Story Focus, and choose to follow what they feel will be a remedy, which is called the Subjective Story Direction.

Subjective Story Domain • [Domain] • the realm in which the Subjective Story takes place; the background against which the relationship between the Main and Obstacle Characters is played • Stories are about meaning. Meaning is created from perspective. Perspective is the relationship between what is being examined and the point of view from where it is seen. Simply put, an author determines the subject matter of a story and how he sees it. This is what becomes the message or meaning of the story. There are four principal points of view which must come into play in all complete stories. They are the Objective, Main Character, Obstacle Character, and Subjective views. The Objective view of a story is the widest view, examining the issues that affect all the characters in the story overall. There are four principal categories of subject matter (called Classes). They are Universe, Mind, Physics and Psychology. In more conversational terms we might think of them as (in the same order) Situation, Attitude, Activity, Manner of Thinking. In reality, they represent external and internal states of affairs and external and internal processes. Anything we might consider as subject matter can be broadly categorized as being an external or internal state or process. When a point of view is attached to the subject matter, the Class of subject matter becomes the Domain or realm in which that point of view does its exploring. So, when the Objective view is associated with a Class, that Class becomes the Objective Story Domain. The Subjective Story Domain examines the issues that affect the relationship between the Main and Obstacle Characters. An SS Domain of Universe means that some fixed external situation is causing troubles for the characters, such as being stuck together as business partners. An SS Domain of Mind means that fixed attitudes are the problem, such as two ministers’ differing attitudes regarding the existence of the soul in genetically engineered fetuses. An SS Domain of Physics means that the two characters’ difficulties arise from an activity, such as a custody battle between parents. And an SS Domain of Psychology means that the way the Main and Obstacle Characters think is the source of problems between them, such as mother and daughter who vie for dominance.

Subjective Story Focus • [Element] • the principal symptom of the difficulties between the Main Character and the Obstacle Character, where attention is focused in the subjective story • When there is a problem in the relationship between the Main and Obstacle character, they look at it from their subjective point of view and cannot see its actual nature because it lies on the level of their motivations. Instead they focus their attention on what they believe to be the source of their problems which is really an effect of the problem. This area is called the Subjective Story Focus.

Subjective Story Inhibitor • [Variation] • The kind of item that serves to impedes the subjective story’s progress • The Subjective Story Inhibitor is what prevents the Subjective Story from just rushing full speed to the solution. It is like a brake mechanism which can be applied as the author pleases. The introduction of this item will always slow the progress of the Subjective Story. It works as the antidote to the Subjective Story Catalyst.

Subjective Story Issue • [Variation] • The central thematic topic of the Subjective Story • Each of the four Domains (Objective Story, Main Character, Obstacle Character, and Subjective Story) has its own theme. This occurs because each Domain is really just a different point of view examining the same central inequity at the heart of the story as a whole. Each Domain, then, sees the troubles in a different light and is therefore drawn to a different standard of values by which to measure it. The thematic Issue in each Domain is that standard. The Subjective Story Issue is the most contentious of the four. This is because the Subjective Story itself is the most incendiary of the Domains, representing the clash of two diametrically opposed belief systems. So, the thematic Issue of the Subjective Story pertains to the Main and Obstacle Characters and everything that happens between them. An author will use the Subjective Story Issue to draw philosophic value judgments about the central subject matter of the story’s passionate argument. The audience will get a sense of what the heart of the story is all about, effectively, what the moralistic message is.

Subjective Story Problem • [Element] • the underlying cause of the difficulties between the Main Character and the Obstacle Character • This is the actual source of the inequity between the Subjective Characters which lies at the level of their motivations. Only by applying the Subjective Story Solution can the effects of this inequity finally be dealt with.

Subjective Story Line • the story as it relates to the relationship and conflict between the Main and Obstacle Characters • The passionate argument of a story is carried by the relationship between the story’s Subjective Characters– namely, the Main and Obstacle Characters. The examination of their internal states and the articulation of the story’s passionate argument makes up the Subjective Story Line. This is not the view from within the shoes of either the Main or Obstacle Characters, but is rather like an objective view of their subjective relationship. It is a view of their story together which always sees both of them.

Subjective Story Solution • [Element] • the specific element needed to resolve the difficulties between the Main Character and The Obstacle Character • This is the item which will, if introduced, restore balance in the Subjective Story and neutralize the effects of the Problem by replacing it. It may not be actually implemented, but if it were adopted in the relationship between the Main and Obstacle Characters, it would end the source of their conflict and change their relationship.

Subjective Story Type Order • [Plot Structure] • the progressive sequence of activites and/or concerns engaged in to arrive at a solution to the problem between the Main and Obstacle Characters, act by act • As the Subjective Story progresses act by act, it covers the Subjective Story Perspective (the Perspective created by matching the Subjective Story Domain with one of the four Classes) Type by Type around the quad of Types which it contains. These four explorations make up the four acts and describe the kinds of things that will have to happen in order to arrive face to face with the Subjective Story Problem.

Subplot • [Storytelling] • a less developed story hinged to the main story • Subplots are often misunderstood to be secondary subordinate stories running in parallel to the main story. Such secondary stories are a valid storytelling technique but they are not Subplots. A Subplot in not a separate independent story but an amplification of a branch or aspect of the main story. Each Subplot is, indeed, a story in its own right but it is connected to the main story through one of the objective characters. This objective character does double duty as the Main Character (a subjective character) in the subplot. As a result, it is inappropriate to hinge a subplot around either the Main or Obstacle Characters of the main story as the two story lines would become blurred and create confusion as to the message intended. In order to keep Subplots from appearing to be the main story, it is important to draw them with less detail. This does not mean they should be incomplete or sketchy, rather that the Subplot should be explored in less depth. There can be as many Subplots as there are objective characters. A large number of subplots will become unwieldy, however, and can needlessly complicate the telling of a story, blurring or diverting the audience’s understanding of the main story. Similar to the Main Character of the main story, the Main Characters of the subplots should be limited to one story each. Not all “multiple plot” stories consist of subplots attached to a main plot. Frequently in serial programs such as soap operas, certain forms of episodic television, and some written serials such as comic strips, several complete stories run in parallel, connected only by their common setting or by using the same ensemble of characters. In this form of storytelling, characters do double duty, playing multiple roles in a number of separate plots which really do not directly affect each other. The point of note is that an author should be aware of the difference between subplot and multiple plot constructions so that the proper dramatic connections can be made to create the greatest impact.

Success • [Plot Dynamic] • the original goal is achieved • Every objective storyline in a Grand Argument Story has at its beginning a desired outcome to be sought after. Ultimately, the characters will either Succeed in achieving that outcome or fail to do so. However, Success is not always a good thing. For example, it may be that a character succeeds at something hurtful or evil. Even a well intentioned character might achieve something that he is unaware will cause harm. Whatever its quality, worth or ramifications, if the outcome desired at the story’s beginning is achieved, the story ends in Success.

Support • [Element] dyn.pr. Oppose<–>Support • indirect assistance given to another’s efforts • Support is not direct help. Direct help is actively joining someone in an effort. Support is aiding the effort without actually participating in it. For example, a character possessing the Help characteristic would join someone in digging a ditch. The character representing Support would provide a shovel and cheer them on. Support is a fine thing to keep one’s spirits up, but is awfully frustrating when you just need someone to lend you a hand. • syn. commend, extol, endorse, back, compliment, laud

Suspicion • [Variation] dyn.pr. Evidence<–>Suspicion • questioning or forming a belief based on new evidence • Suspicion is a preliminary conclusion arrived at with insufficient evidence. It is valuable in helping one know what kinds of things to look for in gathering additional evidence. But it can also be a detriment because once a character suspects something, he is less likely to examine all the evidence for a completely alternative explanation. • syn. wary approach, partially justified apprehensiveness, informed doubt, doubt based on evidence, sensible caution

Sympathy • [Overview Appreciation] •  The audience will care about the Main Character, but it will not identify with him • Sympathy describes the relationship of the audience to a Main Character whom it cares about yet does not identify with. To identify with the Main Character, empathy is needed, but some story forms do not allow for empathy from either male or female audiences, and some exclude both at once. But sympathy can still be a strong emotion, and creating a storyform which will elicit sympathy can be a way to emphasize the intricacies in a story’s storytelling and Objective Story elements rather than its emotional side.