Dramatica Theory Book: Chapter 32

Dramatica: A New Theory Of Story

By Melanie Anne Phillips & Chris Huntley

Chapter 32

The Art of Storytelling

Stage Three:

Introduction To Storyweaving

Of the Four Stages of Communication, Storyweaving is most like what authors usually think of as the writing process. It is here that we gather everything we know about our story and decide how to present it to our audience.

Some authors are planners and like to work out everything before they write a word. For them, the Storyweaving process is simply determining the most interesting way to relate a story that, for them, is already complete in their minds. Another breed of author consider themselves organic writers, and jump headlong into the writing process, only discovering what their stories are about along the way. Most authors fall somewhere between these two extremes, working out portions of their stories to varying degrees, then jumping in with the intent to become inspired by the writing process to fill in the gaps.

Which technique is best? Whichever works for you. Writing should be a positive experience, not drudgery. If you are having headaches instead of triumphs, you might want to consider changing the balance between your degree of preparation and your spontaneous exploration. For anyone destined to write, the best mix can be found.

Of course, the proper mix of structure and stream of consciousness may change for an author from day to day. Some days may be good for working on the framework of a story. Other days it may be best to simply dive in and write. And the best mix can also change depending upon the subject matter or even the medium or format. Writing is not a science but an art. Still, like any art, science can improve the tools of the trade to make artistic expression more enjoyable and the finished product more reflective of the author’s intent. This is where Dramatica can help.

As aids to structure, the Storyforming and Storyencoding stages of communication describe everything necessary to construct a complete argument. As tools for organic writing, Storyweaving and reception provide techniques that create results. As you approach a story, you will likely want to draw on many of these tools to fashion the story you have in mind in the manner that brings the most creative fulfillment.

Having now set the stage, as it were, of how Storyweaving fits into the writing process, let’s explore some of the tricks of the trade.

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