STORY DYNAMICS

Story Dynamics depiction

TOOLS

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


MATCHED POTENTIAL

The dramatic potential in a character or situational element that matches that of another, leading to anticipation that they both will be released together. Properly structured matched potential offsets the dramatic potential in a character or situational element to foretell the main conflict of the story. Character or situational descriptors are only established relative to the descriptors of another or others, their dramatic potential matching those of another or others. All descriptions--i.e., establishment of dramatic potential--which do not match that of another, or are not designed to be used substantially in the story in some way, are superfluous and serve no useful purpose in the movie.

EXAMPLE:
  • a male character is introduced who is shy around females, "geeky", but who has exceptional computer skills; and
  • a female character is introduced who is exceptionally attractive, but who has a job where she's supposed to know everything about computers but doesn't, having lied about her qualifications to get the job.
The matched potential of male-female attraction is assumed and does not need to be set up. Neither does the desire for money, i.e., keeping one's job. The other characteristics must be properly and clearly set up. These are only introduced because they will drive the story--they represent dramatic potential that will be released later. They are not merely descriptive embellishments.

The reader/viewer sees how the needs of one character can be met by the possessions or abilities of another in the course of the story:

  • the female character manipulates the male character into doing the computer works that needs doing at her place of employment;
  • he wants to help her with this due to her attractiveness, but his fear of females makes it clumsy; but . .
  • in the course of the story, the "geek" gets over his fear of females and they have a relationship.
This is the essence of matched potential.


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