Friday, April 06, 2007

Screenwriting 104(3) - Dramatica's Concerns

Okay everybody, this is where things begin to complicate... and at this point you should begin to wonder why all this effort is necessary. Surely it's just distracting from writing? Well, yes and no. Dramatica can be used either at the beginning of a project, mid way through, or at the end. Its purpose is to help fill the gaps, bring out inconsistencies and develop the more rounded product.

So, concerns...Dramatica has 16 Concerns, based upon the framework of the 4 Domains (hope you're still with me). What we're doing is drilling down through a matrix (imagine a multi-level chessboard). Here each Domain becomes split into 4 Concerns. So, for each of the Throughlines, we now have 4 Concerns. In Casablanca, Rick's Main Character Throughline, which fell upon the Domain of Fixed Attitude can now be separated out into Memories, Impulsive Responses, Innermost Desires, and Contemplation.

BUT! But, we don't use all 4 concerns... we can't because we must avoid too much confusion. Each of the Throughlines/Domains may only focus upon 1 Concern, and in respect to Rick, his Concern for his Fixed Attitude is Innermost Desires.

And, what that means for the other Througlines/Domains is that their Concerns must/do fall upon the same relational square, ie: Rick's is the bottom-left, so the other three Throughlines must fall upon the bottom-left square of their own Concern quad. With me?
  • Rick (Main Character Throughline) - Fixed Attitude (Domain) - Innermost Desires (Concern)
  • Ilsa (Impact Character) - Situation (Domain) - Future (Concern)
  • Visas and escape (Objective Story) - Activity (Domain) - Obtaining (Concern)
  • Rick versus Ilsa (Subjective Story) - Manipulations (Domain) - Changing One's Nature (Concern)

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