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Dramatic Structure

Digital Narrative Theory and Practice, Berklee College of Music, Prof. Lori Landay

Lori Landay

on 5 September 2017

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Transcript of Dramatic Structure

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but . . .
that diagram is misleading
it's more like this
Different cultures have specific narrative conventions, with distinct dramatic structures
Dramatic Arc
based on Aristotle (350 BCE)
& Freytag (1900)
Dramatic Arc
(as usually visualized)
There are other ways to conceptualize
dramatic structure.
Kishōtenketsu reflects the structure and development of Chinese and Japanese narratives.
The four basic stages of the Kishōtenketsu story structure are:

1. Introduction (Ki)
Description of characters and/or place. Create the setting of the story.

2. Development (Sho)
Description of event(s) that lead to the twist. Major changes do not occur.

3. Twist (Ten)
A new unforeseen and unheralded event that sheds a different light on the previous events and makes the reader or viewer question any conclusions they may have formed so far. This is the crux or climax of a Kishōtenketsu narrative. Anglo cultures might call this a curve ball.

4. Conclusion (Ketsu)
Kishōtenketsu narratives often end without resolution; questions still remain. The story concludes by bringing together several disparate ideas to prompt listeners to consider possible resolutions.
based on traditional Nicaraguan storytelling
Which model best suits your story?
Nine Act Structure (David Siegel)
As Troy Dunniway explains, "The story structure has everything to do with pacing, but nothing to do with theme. The true challenge comes in figuring out how to create a theme for your story and apply it to your story's structure. The oldest theme in literature and many ancient stories revolve
around what is called the hero's journey, and it can help you write a great game design" -- or interactive fiction.
Troy Dunniway, "Using the Hero's Journey in Games," http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/131527/using_the_heros_ journey_in_games.php?print=1
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