Selecting Thematic Appreciations Selecting a Range

A Range is the thematic focus of a throughline. The focus, when explored with its counterpoint and then coupled with a conclusion, creates a premise. A throughline's Range is found at the Variation level of the thematic structure. Variations, as part of the balanced structure, do not provide value judgments to thematic foci as to whether they are good, bad or indifferent. These interpretations are deciphered by the audience from the interaction of all the dynamics of a story. For example, whether or not the Main Character succeeds or fails can have a big influence on the value of a thematic focus, even though success and failure are not Variations.

Focus and Point of View

An author might select the Variation "Morality" as the thematic focus, making the thematic conflict Morality vs. Self-Interest. But which is better between the two? Both are. And both are worse. It really depends on the context. The author's message might be to speak out in favor of putting others first, or that one must first take care of oneself before one can help others. Either point of view can be argued, as long as it is argued completely and makes sense in context.

Because it is simply the point of focus, one might argue for a Range of Morality by either showing that Morality is a good thing or that Self-interest is bad. Of course, both Variations will take their turn at the forefront in the exploration of the pair, yet one will seem to be the pivot point around which the throughline revolves. Is the throughline's message about Morality or about Self-Interest? The answer to that question determines the thematic Range.

Thematic Quads

Although the exploration of a thematic focus will develop nuance and detail, the focus itself (as well as the thematic counterpoint) must be pure so the issues at stake are clear. This provides a balanced, delineated argument at the heart of the thematic exploration, much as there must be a clear storyform at the heart of the storytelling. To accommodate this need for clarity, one must zero in on the specific Range at the heart of a throughline's argument. With so much balance involved, choosing the right one for your story is not always an easy thing to do. There is a method one can apply, however, that makes it a bit easier and even rather fun.

As described earlier in the section on Theme, there are 64 Variations, grouped into four sets of 16. Each set has four quads as illustrated below. We can start by selecting a set, then a quad, then a conflict and finally a Range, similar to the manner in which we originally explored the thematic structure by starting with the broad stroke Classes and then sub-dividing each into Types, then Variations, and finally Elements.

Dramatica's 64 Thematic Variatio Universe Variations

Physics Variations

Fate

Prediction

Fact

Security

Interdction

Destiny

Thieat

Fantasy

Openness

Dfe lay

Work

Attract

Chois

Pr& conception

Repel

Attempt

Instinct

Senses

Wisdom

Skill

Inte ip re-tat ion

Conditioning

Experience

Enlightenment

Approach

Self Interest

Prerequisites

Strategy

Morality

Attitude

Analysis

Pr& conditions

Stete of Being

Situation

Knowledge

Ability

Circumstances

Sense of Self

Desiie

Thought

Rationalisation

Commitment

Permission

Need

Responsibility

Obligation

Expediency

Deficiency

Truth

Evidence

Value

Confidence

Suspicion

Falsehood

Worry

Worth

Closuie

Hope

Investigation

Appraisal

Dream

Denial

Reappraisal

Doiit

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