Sewing Together The Themes

In this section we have learned that the traditional premise is too blunt a tool to do more than describe the gist of a finished work. In contrast, Dramatica's concept of a thematic argument is explored through thematic conflict, development of the relative value of different standards, and concluded with an assessment of both the level of satisfaction and fulfillment. Such an approach is much more in line with the organic flow of a story's emotional impact as felt through Theme, and is much more accessible as a creative guideline.

The Storyform: How Does All This Stuff Hold Together?

In our present exploration of Theme we are looking at Thematic Appreciations one by one. From this point of view Appreciations can appear rather independent, with each carrying its own meaning which needs to be determined and developed.

This point of view is deceptive, however. The meaning which Appreciations hold is partly in their individuality and partly in their relationships to each other. The nature of any single Appreciation has an impact on how to see every other Appreciation in that story. All together, the collective impact of a specific arrangement of Appreciations describes the underlying structure of a single complete story.

The connections these Appreciations have with one another is exceedingly complex. Beyond the obvious links between such items as Domains/Concerns/ and Ranges, the web of dramatic relationships between the Appreciations of a single story can only be kept fully consistent using a computer.

The purpose of this section, The Elements of Structure, is just to catalogue the pieces of story structure. The second half of this book, titled The Art of Storytelling, will explore exactly how creating a story determines what relationships will exist between that story's Appreciations.

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