Thursday, July 9, 2009


dramatic--having the inherent suggestion and quality of story; implicit content of elements that produce conflict, interaction, goal search, revelation and reversal; a narrative that contains one or more characters in pursuit of an agenda or embarking on an internal or geographical journey; a quest which will involve reversal, frustration, and competitive exterior forces.

A successful dramatic narrative reflects the goals and intent of characters set against the counterpoint of the writer's personal goals at the time of writing. Thus stories may reflect an attitude of cynicism, pragmatism, sadness, bitterness, expansive optimism, and transcendental anticipation. Differing readerships will be particularly drawn to one of these qualities or perhaps even a combination of them. You might liken the physics concept of water, seeking to find its original level, to the literary concept of story: readers seek to find their target level. One thing all stories have in common is a voice or governing personality. It properly should be the goal of the writer to seek its own level, which becomes the pressures informing the voice, timbre, and intensity of its persona.

On a basic level, to say of a work that it is dramatic is to say of it that it is act-able, performable, readable. On a more nuanced level, to say of a work that it is dramatic implies that the work has skillfully designed ventures of men and women engaged in dealings with the enormous varieties present in life. If these dealings appear piled on or contrived, the landscape in which they appear may be spoken of as melodramatic, exaggerated, even operatic. Thus does balance come into the equation of which dramatic is an integral part.

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