Below we provide a few sample story analyses using Dramatica and other structural approaches. We hope they will help you learn more about how to structure your own stories.
We will stick to popular stories, including films, that readers of this site are more likely to have read or seen. That may mean fewer analyses of literary works, but since literary fiction tends to under-emphasize structure in favour of style, authenticity, and experimentation, literary works do not always offer the clearest examples of story structure.
Incidentally, it is a good exercise whenever you are reading a book or watching a film to try to spot the various plot elements, act divides, and character types. You may also want to do your own analysis of some stories you like in order to develop your awareness of how structure works.
Of course, there is a subjective element to all analysis and different analysts will see stories differently, so don't take these analyses as definitive.
You can find analyses of many more popular films at the Dramatica website. Be aware that these are intended for people with a working knowledge of the Dramatica software. (On this site, we try to present the theory in a way that writers can use it without having to purchase the software.)
Using this classic film, we show how Dramatica's concept of the four throughlines work in a well-constructed story.
Here we apply three different story models to the first novel in The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. (Naturally, Dramatica has the most to say.) This highly popular YA dystopian novel falls into a subgenre we like to call Social Psych Tests.
Not exactly a classic romance, because these lovers are somewhat star-crossed, this popular YA story demonstrates that the principles of story structure can be found at work in character-driven, mainstream novels as well as plot-driven, genre stories.
Various other story analyses of this Disney film have been attempted by dramatica experts, and the general consensus is that its structure has a few weaknesses, but that these do not prevent it from being emotionally compelling. Here's our unique take on Frozen.
"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards
"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus
"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.
"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman
"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of
knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I
truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me
successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins
"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash
"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero