Writing Your Story’s Judgement

Success and Failure are measurements of how well specific requirements have been met and are by nature Objective. In contrast, Good and Bad are personal value judgments based on an evaluation of the Main Character’s peace and fulfillment.

The rational argument of a story deals with whether an approach taken will lead to Success or Failure in the endeavor. The passionate argument of a story deals with whether or not the Main Character will find peace at the end of its journey.

If you want a “happy ending” story, you will want Success in the logistical part of the story and a judgment of Good in the passionate part of the story.

If you want a tragedy, you will want the effort to achieve the Goal to Fail and the Main Character’s journey to end Badly. However, life is often made of trade-offs, compromises, sacrifices, and re-evaluations, and so should be stories.

Choosing Success/Bad stories or Failure/Good stories opens the door to all these alternatives. If we choose a Failure/Good story, we can imagine a Main Character who realizes it had been fooled into trying to achieve a goal or a Main Character who discovers something more important to it personally in the course of trying to achieve the goal.

A Success/Bad story might end with a Main Character achieving its dreams only to find they are meaningless, or a Main Character who makes a sacrifice for the success of others but ends up bitter and vindictive.

Excerpted from
Dramatica Story Development Software