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DramaQueen 2.4: Story development

We conclude the year with DramaQueen 2.4 in which we’ve put the focus on further development of the DramaQueen exclusive features storytelling, turning-points, dramatic charts and character arcs.

As always the update will be offered automatically when you open DramaQueen. To allow all DramaQueen users to try out the new features, we activated an extra 5 day trial period!


 
Extension of the storytelling guidance

  • There are new text fields in the Storytelling panel for Logline, Premise, Genre and Narrative Tone. These allow to capture the fundamental idea for a story.
  • In addition to that text fields allow to capture all important dramatic vehicles of the story: Initial crisis, heroes fall, leitmotif, key-line, refusal, motivation, conflict, point of no return, antagonist, knowledge, mandatory scene, self-knowledge, transformation, kiss-off.

 

Characters: More (role) diversity

There are additional gender options ‘X’, ‘neuter’ and ‘undefined’.

  • X: Transgender, fantasy creature
  • Neuter: Androids or other artificially created creatures
  • Undefined: This option offers the choice to deliberately leave the gender undefined when creating a new character. This may facilitate an awareness for more role diversity and can lead to a more balanced distribution of male and female roles:

The Character panel contains the new options ‘Roles’ and ‘True self’:

  • Roles‘ = the social roles of the character, i.e. mother, wife, business woman, lover
  • True self‘ = the authentic self of the character, without pretending, self-deception, or false goals. Completely pure and unmasked.

 

Turning-points: More flexibility as author and dramatist


There is now a new optional major turning-pointLast Twist. It is located just before the end of the storyline:

The number of major turning-points can now vary between two and six turning-points for each storyline:

Up to now there were only the options ‚positive or negative turn‘ for each turning-point. Now there are the additional options ‚no change‘ as well as ‚non-existent‘:

  • The option ‚no change‘ expresses the need to revise or unexplored potential at a turning-point. This allows to capture incomplete stories.
  • The option ‚non-existent‘ will hide turning-points that are not intended for a storyline. They will disappear from the Outline and Storytelling panel as well as from the Dramatic Chart. Only the two indispensable turning-points Plot point 1 and 2 cannot be disabled.

With the additional last twist and the new turning-point options, the storytelling guidance and the dramatic chart can capture the plot of a story in much finer detail and with more precision:

In the update report for DramaQueen 2.4 you can find more detailed information.
 
We wish you great fun with the new DramaQueen features, an inspiring holiday season, and a highly creative, happy New Year!
 

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DramaQueen 2.2 – and Preview of 2.3

In the weeks since our last release we have worked on two fronts: On version 2.2 and also on 2.3 in parallel. In the current update (2.2) we have focused on optimizing the workflow with Final Draft and improved on important usability details.

At the same time we have realized a good portion of our next big feature: Revision mode, which will make an appearance shortly in the form of the 2.3 update!


New in DramaQueen 2.2:


Optimized Final Draft workflow

Optimized for Final Draft

Our goal was to optimize the workflow between DramaQueen and Final Draft in such a way, that working on the same document in Final Draft and DramaQueen alternately would not loose any layout information. This means each and every layout setting specified in a Final Draft document is imported into DramaQueen, such as the page margins, fonts, indentations and spacings. At the same time all layout information is exported to Final Draft as well as all learned words for spell-checking.


Usability

Several changes make for an improved handling:

  • Quick navigation by remembering each caret position: DramaQueen will remember for each chapter or scene where the caret was last located in it. When typing at a certain position, then jumping to another scene in the document via the Outline panel and back again, the caret will be located at the exact same place as before. Not at the beginning of the scene any more. And to round this off, DramaQueen restores the exact last caret location when opening documents.
  • Text notes may now also be sorted with the option ‘Oldest notes first’.
  • The dynamic summaries may now be much longer. This makes sure that no room is wasted when showing the Outline fullscreen and with maximum column width.
  • The thickness of underlines and strike-through lines adapts to the font size. Especially the spelling and grammar aid is much better visible as a result.
  • The Character panel now offers a new attribute “Tactics”.


Here you can read a detailed update report for 2.2.



Preview: DramaQueen 2.3 with revision mode

The revision mode — many may know it as “Track changes” — is probably one of the most missed and therefore most often asked for features. All the more reason to close this gap sooner than later!

Since quite some time we have developed ideas and concepts. At the same time such an important tool shouldn’t deviate too much from the expectations of writers and how it is done in other applications — even just for compatibility reasons when importing and exporting. So the first step was to go back to all the suggestions, requests and requirements, that we received for the revision mode, and develop several very exciting concepts.

As a result, we are looking forward to offer a solution soon — intuitive to use as ever — which will combine the best and most powerful ideas to be able to meet all usage scenarios with great flexibility:

  • Keeping track of different authors as well as revisions
  • Automatic hover window and permanent tool stripe with all information for a given change and all action and navigation options
  • Deleted text as pop-up
  • Option ‘Track changes’ with pause-function
  • Option ‘Mark as changed’
  • Highlighting a changed line with a symbol (*) in the page margin – alternatively or in addition
  • Revision text notes



Here is a first teaser-screenshot of our current progress:

DramaQueen revision mode



We still need a little more time until the revision mode can be published in the next release, so it can — mature and perfectly integrated — satisfy the high expectations!

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Multi-perspective Storytelling with DramaQueen

One of DramaQueen’s central ideas is to think of a story in individual storylines. Why is that so important? What do storylines do?
Storylines inspire me to go over my story several times. Because every strand has its own main character or the other way around: each character in their storyline is assigned their own conflict and development arc, their own antagonist and their own goal.
As a writer it is my job to experience my story through the eyes of each character. Within her storyline a secondary character becomes the main character. When, for example, the antagonist is seen as the protagonist of her storyline, it becomes clear that she also has a need and that her motive needs to be understandable and human. This change of perspective helps me to make my characters ambivalent and multidimensional.

Let’s look at one of the best known recent German films, “Good Bye, Lenin”:
The main character Alex wants to keep all excitement from his mother to save her life. But the other characters have their own goals too: Alex’ mother Christine faces the lie of her life in her storyline. Alex’ sister Ariane wants to start her own life with her own family and overcome the loss of her father. And Denis, Alex’ friend and colleague, wants to make great films as a director. Everyone has their very own understanding of what’s going on.
If you put all strands in relation to each other many stories turn into one. Every single one tells a part of the whole story – a different aspect, a different truth.

How can software make storylines identifiable?

That is the question we constantly ask ourselves. We’ve developed a method to develop the narrative arc of each storyline. Our storyline-modus creates a filter enabling you to dive into the world of a storyline and blank out everything else. The analysis graphic tool visualizes all storylines – for more see “What the narrative graph reveals about your story”. Our latest feature automatically structures a story into single storylines. Before you had to choose each scene separately to assign it to a narrative strand. Now all you need to do is to set up the central character constellation for each storyline. DramaQueen takes care of the rest…

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