Sample Story Analyses

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.)

Story Analyses of Popular Works


It's a Wonderful Life: A Dramatica Analysis

Frank Capra's holiday classic has a lot to teach us about structure, as revealed through Dramatica.


Blade Runner 2049: A Dramatica Analysis

A detailed look at the plot of this SF sequel with its complex thematic argument about what defines humanity.


Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi

Using this classic film, we show how Dramatica's concept of the four throughlines work in a well-constructed story.


The Hunger Games

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.

Click here to see the results.


The Fault in Our Stars

Not a classic romance story, because these lovers are somewhat star-crossed, this popular YA novel demonstrates that the principles of story structure can be found at work in character-driven, mainstream novels as well as plot-driven, genre stories.

Click here for our analysis.


Frozen

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.



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