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10/13/2004 - UNDERSTANDING DRAMATIC ACTION
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The dramatic action of a story must be forward moving. A guy is going along in his life. Something happens to him, either by his own doing or otherwise.

Whatever happens to him must be big enough to alter his normal routine in a compelling way. Getting a flat tire on the way to work isn't enough. He can fix the flat and be on his way. It's an inconvenience, but an easily solvable one.

As a result of the big thing that happens to him he is thrown off the course of his normal life and must confront several unexpected problem that he must conquer to serious ramifications. On the way to work a young woman gets a flat tire.
Because she doesn't know how to fit it, she hails a stranger. The stranger agrees to drive her to the nearest gas station to get help. But instead of doing that he kidnaps her.

A story has begun. But maybe it's not her story. Maybe it's her fiance's story. He must find her. That's the story.

The dramatic action of the story then is what the character does to resolve the problem he has suddenly been faced with.

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