Story Dynamics depiction


Use the tools of Story Dynamics--establishing image, dramatic potential, matched potential, and a narrative question--to engineer successful dramatic stories.


Anything that creates anticipation in the mind of the reader/viewer that something dramatic will happen. A dramatic story is essentially a vehicle for establishing and releasing dramatic potential. Dramatic potential is generally established in situation, character, and naming/numbering, to be released later in the story.

Situational dramatic potential is often:

  • temporal--e.g., time of year, special day/date, day/night, time limit
  • spatial--e.g., wild west, space, foreign country
  • climactic--e.g., extreme weather, natural disasters

But it can be any sort of problem or situation.

Character dramatic potential generally comprises:

  • needs or wants
  • extreme or undesirable character or physical traits
  • special abilities and powers
  • possessions or objects
  • position or station in life
  • functions or purposes

Some dramatic potential can be assumed and does not need to be pre-established, e.g.:

  • male-female attraction
  • greed
  • fear
  • desire for revenge

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