Types of Genre
When defining a Narrative Personality, there is one additional consideration that helps lock in the purpose and define the feeling of a story. When viewed almost as if someone you knew, some stories appear spirited and driven while others come across dramatic and principled. Capturing the essence of this modality is as simple as choosing between the conventions of a particular Genre or taking a path more atypical.
The complete list of Genres available to you in Subtxt splits each personality into two separate categories: Conventional and Atypical. These categories are one of two options: either Spirited and Driven OR Dramatic and Principled. Choosing this primary type of personality sets the part of the story that moves from one Act to the next.
This idea of splitting Genres into Conventional and Atypical finds inspiration in Dramatica's Modes of Expression. As explained in the theory book, these modes "describe the light in which to see" the various classifications of conflict.
The four modes are:
- Information: an educational tone which focuses the audience on knowledge
- Drama: a serious tone which focuses the audience on thought
- Comedy: a humorous tone which focuses the audience on ability
- Entertainment: a diverting tone which focuses the audience on desire
Subtxt takes these primary Modes of Expression as insipration and shifts them to depict the Primary Modes of Personality. If Genre is an expression of Personality, then there should be one primary mode of that personality. In short, what is a particular Genre like when we first meet them?
Subtxt's Primary Modes of Personality:
- Principled: a knowing tone which focuses the audience on knowledge
- Dramatic: a serious tone which focuses the audience on thought
- Spirited: a light tone which focuses the audience on ability
- Driven: a driving tone which focuses the audience on desire
Taken as two sets of Dynamic Pairs, we find two like-minded personalities:
- Dramatic/Principled (thought and knowledge)
- Spirited/Driven (ability and desire)
By contrasting the two pairs with their Elements in mind, we find a standard by which to measure forward momentum in a story:
- a Dramatic and Principled personality leads from within (i.e., Decisions drive actions)
- a Spirited and Driven personality leads from without (i.e., Actions drive decisions)
Genres, therefore, will take one pair as Convention and the other as Atypical.