Grid of Dramatica Genres

Universe

Physics

Mind

Psychology

Information (Education)

Yhere/Yhat it is

How it works

Vhat it means

Vhy it's important

Drama (Serious}

Exploration Drama

Action Drama

Bias Drama

Growth Drama

Comedy (Humor}

Situation Comedy

Physical Comedy

Comedy of Manners

Comedy of Errors

Entertainment (0 irersion}

Entertainment through Atmosphere

Entertainment through Thrills

Entertaining Concept

Entertainment through Twists

^Where/What it is p; (Information/Universe) p; an examination of events and situations with an emphasis on the past, present, progress, and future "state of things" (e.g. Documentary, Historical and Period Pieces).

^How it works p; (Information/Physics) p; an examination of how specific processes work with an emphasis on instruction (e.g. Educational, Informational, Instructional).

@What it means p; (Information/Mind) p; an examination of opinions and points of view with an emphasis on the context in which they are made (e.g. Inspirational, Motivational).

^Why it's important p; (Information/Psychology) p; an examination of value systems with an emphasis on providing context relevant to the audience's personal life (e.g. Persuasion, Propaganda).

^Exploration Drama p; (Drama/Universe) p; a serious exploration of how the "state of things" is unbalanced (e.g. Courtroom, Crime, and Classroom dramas).

^Action Drama p; (Drama/Physics) p; a serious take on how problems are created by ongoing activities (e.g. Espionage and War dramas).

@Bias Drama p; (Drama/Mind) p; a serious take on what types of conflicts arise from incompatible attitudes (e.g. Obsession and Prejudice dramas).

^Growth Drama p; (Drama/Psychology) p; a serious take on the attempts to overcome difficulties resulting from manipulations and/or evolving identities (e.g. Coming of Age and Dysfunctional Family dramas).

^Situation Comedy p; (Comedy/Universe) p; humor derived from the difficulties created by placing characters in some sort of predicament (e.g. TV Sitcoms).

^Physical Comedy p; (Comedy/Physics) p; pratfalls, slapstick, and other forms of humor derived from physical activities gone awry (e.g. The Three Stooges and much of Charlie Chaplin's work) ^Comedy of Manners p; (Comedy/Mind) p; humor derived from divergent attitudes, biases, or fixations - frequently noted as drawing room comedies (e.g. Jack Benny or Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Ernest). -.-^Comedy of Errors p; (Comedy/Psychology) p; humor derived from misinterpretation or, in psychological terms, attribution error (e.g. Abbott and Costello's Who's on First and several Shakespeare comedies including Twelfth Night).

^Entertainment through Atmosphere p; (Entertainment/Universe) p; entertainment derived from new, unique, or interesting settings or backgrounds (e.g. Disaster, Fantasy, Horror, Musical, and Science Fiction) ^Entertainment through Thrills p; (Entertainment/Physics) p; entertainment derived from new, unique, or interesting activities/experiences - much like thrill rides at an amusement park (e.g. Action Adventure, Suspense) ^Entertaining Concept p; (Entertainment/Mind) p; entertainment derived from new, unique, or interesting ideas (e.g. High Concept piece) ^Entertainment through Twists p; (Entertainment/Psychology) p;

entertainment derived from new, unique, or interesting forms of audience manipulation (e.g. Mysteries, Thrillers)

This grid illustrates how the mode of expression can change the impact a Class will have on an audience. If the Physics Class is expressed in terms of Information it would seem like a "How to" story. If Comedy is chosen as the mode of expression, however, the Physics Class looks more like a story involving physical humor or "slapstick."

The beauty of the grid is that it provides authors with a "shopping list" of the kinds of impact they may wish to have upon their audience. Take time to fully examine the table. Look at the brief explanation of each mode/Class combination. Unlike most of the previous information in this book, this table lends itself to an intuitive feel that ties in much more closely with the Art of Storytelling than with the Elements of Structure.

Taken together, Classes and modes of expression determine the feel of the subject matter in a story. Still, there is one aspect of Genre remaining: positioning the audience in relationship to the subject matter. To do this, we can make use of the four Dramatica Domains. As a brief recap, they are:

-^■Main Character Domain p; the first person point of view (I) matched with a Class, this Domain provides the audience with a "down in the trenches," personal view of the story.

■Obstacle Character Domain p; the second person point of view (you) matched with a Class, this Domain provides the audience with a "what's impacting me," impersonal view of the story.

^Subjective Story Domain p; the first person plural point of view (we) matched with a Class, this Domain provides the audience with a "what's it like to be in this type of a relationship," passionate view of the story.

^Objective Story Domain p; the third person point of view (they) matched with a Class, this Domain provides the audience with a "big picture," dispassionate view of the story.

By positioning the audience's four points of view on the Class/modes of expression grid, we can accurately predict the feel our story will have.

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