on Helping Writers become Authors:
Drama presents something of an interesting conundrum. On the one hand, drama is the essence of story. Without it and its inherent dissonance, conflict, and stakes, there really isn’t much to a story. As writers and readers, we love drama.
The irony is that, in real life, we recognize drama is often inherently destructive. “Drama queen,” “spare me the drama,” “addicted to drama”—these are all decidedly derogatory references.
Indeed, part of the reason we love drama in fiction is because of its catharsis. Clearing drama in real life is an often herculean task, so it’s a relief to watch characters tackle much bigger problems than ours and work through them (often in ways we would never dare attempt ourselves). Plus, sometimes we just love to watch a train wreck.