Melanie Anne Phillips, co-creator of the Dramatica theory of story, offers us a brand new approach to discovering our stories. Using an analogy based on globular clusters, she teaches a fun way to determine the unique thematic structure of our work:
The more we consider our potential story, the more our thinking gravitates toward a particular portion of the narrative space - that part of our subject matter that hold the most draw for us.
If we were to map the story point we start to develop from the totality of our subject matter area, we would see that they begin to center around some core concepts. More and more ideas begin to come, packed closer an closer together until critical mass is achieved and our speculations ignite like a star in our narrative space.
Like the universe itself, our minds tend to gravitate towards points of story that carry great weight within us. Using the Table of Story Elements to zero in on this area makes it easier for us to figure out what our stories are really all about.
More importantly, it makes our stories uniquely ours, a structure based on our heart's deepest intentions.
Our story now has an identity in our minds - it has a feel, a personality, and we use that as our guide for all development to follow - what fits in with that and what does not.