The Relationship Story Throughline Is Not An Argument

How to dramatically improve the emotional scope of your narrative

Season 3 Episode 60

A look at how you can dramatically improve the quality of your storytelling by thinking of the central relationship as a character. I follow-up with listener email regarding the difference between Wisdom & Enlightenment within the Dramatica theory of story. And I cover the usage of Time and Space in setting the context for a full and complete narrative.

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Show Notes & Links

Since the recording of this podcast, the story Appreciation of the Story Limit has been redefined and better understood as the Story Continuum. The article mentioned in the podcast can now be found here:

Hello, and welcome to the narrative first podcast the only podcast where story is king. I'm your host Jim Hull the voice of narrative first, and this is episode 60 the relationship story through line is not an argument.

Welcome back everyone to another week of story structure and story analysis from a Dramatica point of view. Hope you're enjoying the shorter format of the podcasts and just as a reminder. Don't forget that each podcast has a full transcription there might be one or two words that are a bit off, and I will get back to them and fix them as time permits. But I thought that would be a great resource if you wanted to look it up and see exactly what it is I'm talkin about in words.

Today's two topics are about the relationship through line as you can tell by the title of this podcast the relationship story through line is not an argument and I'll get into that in a second. We have updates to the atomizer and of course narrative first analyses and an email question. I wanted Let everyone in on as I'm sure it'll it'll help out somebody and then lastly the second section will be all about the Story Continuum, which is about the time lock an option lock and how even a narrative expert can get something wrong.

But first up the relationship story throughline.

The Relationship Story Throughline

Now if you're new to Dramatica you know that the relationship story through line is positioned as an argument between the main character and the influence character. In The Theory Book and in materials within the first ten fifteen years of the theory the relationship story through line is presented as an argument.

You have the picture of the battlefield, and you know the Objective Story is the general up on the hill watching it and then down in the smoke out of the smoke emerge two figures one of them is the main character and the other one is the influence character and the at the beginning of it--what was known as the subjective story through line--which now is the relationship story throughline. That's presented as the emotional argument of the story between those two points of view.

Now this is fine. If you're just coming to the idea of the four through lines of a story, and it's great when you think of it in terms of the four contexts of I you we and they you can see how we have an argument you can see how. Well, that's a nice way to think of it conceptually but in practice. I found that when people start focusing on the relationship story through line as an argument what they end up doing is using the appreciations in that through line as a basis for what they're actually going to write about they use the appreciations of story structure as actual storytelling, and it doesn't necessarily harm, the narrative what it does is it misses out on a really essential part of the story something that would actually bring the entire story to life.

this is something that I discovered when I was doing the dramatica mentorship program when I would get to the relationship story through line there would always be a back-and-forth about wel if the issue of the relationship story is commitment, then there they each have an argument over commitment. Like you're not committed to me enough or someone is committed to a project and the other person is committed to their project and what it produces is this he said she said sort of view of the relationships through line

now the problem with that is the relationship through line is not about an argument. It is about a point of view on the inequity on the story. It's the we perspective of the inequity.

And what that means is that the relationship itself is problematic not the individual perspectives that the main character and influence character hold, its the actual relationship between them that has seen trouble. The relationship has commitment issues

What I found that really helps is to actually think of the relationship story as its own separate character. The same way that you look at the main character and influence character through lines, and you see those as characters the relationship story through line is also a character. And the reason why that works is because the main character through line and the influence character through line are not really about the characters, they are about the points of view.

But when you go to write it--when you're actually writing the story--you're looking at it from that person's point of view or you're seeing it from the character that is attached to that point of view. That's what you're attaching when you say main character through line and influence character through line. So when you get to the relationship story through line, it's the same exact thing the same way where you look at the Objective Story through line, and you're looking at all of them and seeing all the conflict and the kind of issues that come up when they come into conflict. They're not sitting there arguing over self-interest or they're not sitting there arguing over morality.

When you have an Objective Story issue of self-interest you have a bunch of people who are coming into conflict because self-interest is out of whack So the same thing happens with the relationship Story the relationship itself is out of whack when you have a relationship story issue of commitment. The relationship there isn't enough commitment in the relationship. The relationship is too committed where people feel codependent with the other person because of this commitment that they're forced to be in. And of course with the quad there along with commitment you also have obligations, so people feel obligated. There's rationalizations for why they are the certain way or why that relationship is the way it is and of course the responsibilities and that relationship all those four come into play because of that issue of commitment in the relationship.

So the very best thing you can do that--my first tip and trick here for the relationship story through line--is to actually think of it as a character. And when you go to write the encoding for your story, when you're looking at the storyform--because for the most part writers come to the story, and they have no idea what the actual meat of the relationship story is going to be. They have a great idea of the Objective Story. They always have a really good idea of the influence character. They have a somewhat good idea of the main character, but when it comes to the relationship story through line, it's often up to the Dramatica story form to help them fill in the blanks.

So when you sit down to actually encode the relationship story through line and work your way through it, obviously you'll know the kind of relationship that's there, but think of where is the relationship going. Relationships are not static, they're dynamic. They're always changing they're either growing or they're dissolving, they're very dynamic in nature.

At the beginning of sitting down to encode the relationship story through line you want to find out four different items that are attached to the relationship story throughline. The first one is what kind of a relationship is this and that's the typical thing where it's a father-son relationship, a sister relationship, a Mentor/mentee relationship. You'll notice that in the English language the terminology for relationships there really aren't any. There's no one word that describes a father-son relationship. There's no one word that describes. Mentor mentee relationship.

Because of the way that the English language was constructed and because of the people who are behind it--predominantly male-oriented thinkers--the words that are there to describe it are these separate words and they're these separate people: the father and the son.

You want to make sure that you avoid the he said she said sort of thing but define the relationship at the beginning, that's a very important step to take. The next step would be to ask is the relationship growing or dissolving? Now, this is where thinking of the relationship story through line as a character is another great resource. In just the same way that the main character through line can change or steadfast the relationship story through line can also be changed or steadfast and any kind of combination arises with those problem and solution elements within the relationship story through line.

Again those different through lines are not really characters they're perspectives. So what it is is that perspective is either changed by the end or its steadfast. And if you're aware of the connection between a changed resolve and the problem and solution elements of a through line and a steadfast resolve and the focus and Direction elements of a through line, you can see how that also applies to the relationship itself.

So for instance you might have a relationship that isn't resolved at the end it still has that problem there at the very beginning. Currently I'm in the middle of writing a sci-fi film where the relationship the friendship between those two. Isn't going to be resolved it's not getting anywhere.

The problem that's there that that problem, that's driving it will be there from the beginning to the end. It's almost like a steadfast relationship, and it's a steadfast dissolving relationship. So I know where they start at at the beginning of the story--great friends--and by the end, that's just it's over. It's separate, but there's no resolution there because there's still lingering feelings. There's still a lingering a wanting of that relationship, and that's where the heart of a story comes in that's where the power of that through line comes in.

So thinking of it you know whether or not it's a changed or steadfast and whether or not it's growing or dissolving can also help you define the relationship story through line encodings and get you away from this idea of it as an argument.

You know it's difficult--especially when you look to the relationship through line character report that's included in Dramatica story expert. Alessandro Sandini sent me an email asking me what I thought about this report I haven't used the reports in dramatica for a very long time. I use them at the very beginning, but they eventually appeared to programmatic program programmatic? They seemed too programmed to me and not real enough to me, so I haven't really looked at it in a long time, so it's very interesting for me to go back over them again, and see what was actually there, and I really think that this relationship through line character report is steering writers in the wrong way.

For instance, the relationship story through line is the battleground of the main and influence characters, It is the realm in which the passionate argument is explored. We see this argument through the eyes of the main character. We also see how it is affected by the impact of the influence character

Again, it's saying passionate argument, so one will tend to think well if it's an issue of Commitment they're going to argue about, well you're not being committed enough to me, and that's just as bad as a main character issue of Fact, and he's arguing about facts.

It's just you're using those story points as storytelling instead of thinking of them as instances or processes of conflict, so what I did is I put Black Swan in there. Black Swan is a story form that I just uploaded for the atomizer and in their Nina Sayers Natalie Portman is positioned against Lily whose her influence character Mila Kunis.

Part of the report reads Nina Sayers evaluates Progress. This is Illustrated in Black Swan by the relationship between Nina Sayers and Lily. To start with Nina Sayers is primarily concerned with the situation or environment in regard to Progress while Lily's chief concern is a fixed attitude or outlook of impulsive responses. Clearly, they are not concerned with the same things.

So what is happening here is this report is describing how the story form works. It's not actually telling you or helping you write the story. This is indeed why the main character and influence character at odds because they're looking at the same thing from opposite directions. But that's not where the relationship story is this is the main character and influence character through lines. In fact this report probably should read the main character and influence character through line report.

It goes on to read Nina Sayers evaluates Progress in terms of Fantasy and Fact. In contrast, Lily measures her concern with impulsive responses by how it relates to Worth and Value. If they were to argue Nina Sayers might say we must not Progress because of our Fantasy to which Lily might respond, no we must Respond because of Worth. Definitely apples and oranges, but this is what makes any argument real. Arguments occur not so much because people disagree, but because they simply aren't really talking about the same things.

So you might sit down and start to write, you know if you are trying to write Black Swan and you might think well I guess they're going to argue about these two different things, and that's not what you want to do at all. In fact their relationship through line has absolutely nothing to do with either Fact or fantasy or Worth or Value.

In fact their relationship story issue is all about Experience and in the film--if you've seen it if you haven't seen it's a great film, you should definitely see--in that film their issue of Experience is all about well, one is the White Swan and ones the Black Swan. One is virginal and pure and one is very experienced and out there and their level of wherewithal as far as it comes to performing and engaging with each other and with other men that is where their relationship is out of whack is that issue of experience. It's experiencing its the process of experience. And so you write about their relationship about the way they engage with each other and how experience is creating conflict within the relationship.

They're not actually arguing over Experience: well you're more experienced than me--no, you're more experienced than I wish I had more experience like you did. That is a complete disaster when it comes to writing a story. If you think of their relationship, it's engenue and femme fatale. See there's there isn't even a word for that, but there's a dynamic there between the two of them that is preventing them from growing. Actually. I would say I would say their relationship grows to the conclusion, but it's not a very positive conclusion. I would say though that the solution comes into play so in that one that would be a changed growing resolved relationship.

Looking deeper into their through line for the relationship story through line in Black Swan. There is a problem of non accurate and a solution of accurate. The problem of non accurate is inappropriate or inadequate I always like to think of it as inappropriate behavior. There's a set standard, and it's it's non accurate it's out of alignment from it and there you can see you know somebody who's a little more experienced when it comes to sexuality and activities in that domain can be out of whack and create a sort of. Power struggle between somebody who is perhaps more inexperienced, but they don't sit there and argue over non accurate.

It's the element of inappropriateness the inappropriateness between the two of them and actually I'm going to spoil the movie if you haven't seen it there are two parts of the same person and that inaccuracy that she doesn't know that until the very end when that solution of accuracy comes up that is what drives the relationship story through line. In that film that's where the heart of that story is it's dark. It's twisted, but that's that genre. That's what it. That's that kind of story, but the relationship story through line there is never positioned as an argument.

It's not you know it used to be in older versions of Dramatica it was the main versus impact story through line that was horrendous. That was not even anything close to the amazingness the. Just tremendous value that understanding this through line this part of a narrative can bring to your story.

So many people understand the relationship, but when they actually sit down to write when I actually sit down and write with them and and get them to start thinking about the relationship story through line. It always comes to a screeching halt at this place, and that's because they fight against the he said she said and for the most part, it's people who have never really thought of relationships as terms of like actual entities like this is actually something that creates problems and the safe bet is always to write, well the sister does this and the brother does this and that's why they're in conflict, but they're missing out. And it's a really hard thing to describe because as I said there aren't a lot of words to describe how a relationship works, how it grows, how it dissolves.

I always like the two concepts of inertia like flow and resistance. So again it's that dynamic experience of a relationship, is it growing is it flowing? Or is their resistance being put up in there and the Catalyst and Inhibitors in the actual relationship story through line can help act as that flow and that resistance, but it's always changing its always dynamic, and it's always about the relationship itself looking at the relationship as a character not looking at it as two people on a battlefield in an argument. All that does is just give you another version of the Objective Story through line So the moment you can stop thinking of it as an argument and start thinking of it as a point of view a relationship think of that as almost like a character itself the greater and more heartwarming your stories will be.

Weekly Updates

Well so much for 10 minutes sections. What can I say there is probably a lot more? I could say about the relationship story through line, and I will work on some articles to make this something that can actually help you out some stuff that you can read and explore and just develop your own sense of how that through line works, but I tried to get it under 10 minutes.

Now to the update section of the podcast first, in the atomizer I put up story forms for her the Spike Jonze film with Joaquin Phoenix the story form for Jane Eyre. That's the always hard to say his name Corey kanaga, Corey. Uh the guy behind beasts of no Nation this is a remake he had done of the Bronte story, and then I uploaded the story form for the entire Harry Potter series. I've been working with a bunch of novelists and working on their series and a lot of them struggle with how to find the entire story form for their series, and those who perhaps are struggling with having to do all this work would balk at the idea of like why I can't imagine that there is a story structure for an entire series. And I had forgotten that a couple years back when the Harry Potter series ended the films that I had discovered that there was an actual story form in the interesting compelling part about it. Is that the story form for the entire series was pretty much the same exact story form that was in the first book although the first book was incomplete as far as I believe the relationship story through line was not as strong as it could have been

we had analyzed it in the dramatic users group. Came to the conclusion that it was an incomplete story that it had all the elements of it, and if it was filled out. This is what the story form would be and what it is it turns out that the entire story form for the series was the story form that we had discovered so what I did is I put it together and uploaded it to the atomizer, so if you want to see how an entire story form works for an entire seven film series. It's there for you, and then of course. The story form for Black Swan is up there as well.

In addition I'm going through an updating the story points. I worked on the mental models of the the atomizer last week so the longest time. It's always been confusing appreciations elements variations issues. I broke it down into three things. Well. It's going to be four, of course: appreciations, elements. Story points and Concepts.

So when you see on the narrative First site and you see an analysis, and it says influence character problem of Desire instead of having two separate links there. I'm going to make it just one link so you just click. Oh, I want to see influence character problem of desire, and you'll be taken to the Atomizer where you'll see how that works in a story, a couple of examples with gists. I'm just going to grab some gists and show you how that works and then story form connections where you see actual films or actual narratives that have an influence character problem a desire, and I'm going to do that for everything

so the breakdown is the influence character problem that is the appreciation and the reason it's called that and I didn't even realize this until a couple years into dramatica. that essentially you're appreciating the story structure. Oh, I appreciate this influence character problem. The element is desire now. They're it works because the problem is actually an element on the element level, but if you're familiar with dramatica. You know there are issues and those are the variations you have concerns, and those are the types, and then you have the through lines or domains and those are the classes at the very top

So that gets very confusing especially when I'm watching looking over the shoulder of people actually using the atomizer and thinking of the very best way to put this together in the simplest way so if they're just all going to be elements, and I believe it works because you have the table of story elements which contains everything.

Obviously when you get into a more advanced understanding of dramatica you can break it down into those four levels, but for now just thinking of all those things as elements. I think that is a really nice way to go especially if you're just coming to the theory

Now the story point is when you put those two together. That's when you have a story point so you have influenced character problem of Desire relationship story problem of non accurate and so on those will be story points and then Concepts I found out that. I found as I was putting this together that you still need another section for stuff like protagonist antagonist Tale four through lines all that stuff

before I get to the Story Continuum portion of the podcast I want to talk about a letter I received from Lakis, and I'm sure I'm pronouncing that wrong my apologies about the difference between wisdom and enlightenment. And I just wrote a really quick email back and this just a very quick answer here short, and sweet. It's just the difference between intelligence and intuition. So if you think of wisdom as whether or not you're stupid, or you're smart you're doing the smart thing and intuition. You know that is somebody who is enlightened who's working off of hunches and just you know going off of their gut feeling.

If you remember the character of C from A Bronx Tale, I feel like that is a great example of a main character with an issue of Enlightenment. It's a very positive way of looking at it. I believe too Hogarth in The Iron Giant his issue too is Enlightenment where these main characters, they have a worldly view a very intuitive very nice holistic view of the world and they bring troubles to themselves because of this enlightened view.

C is dating an African-American woman, which is not looked upon to nicely in his community and Hogarth is friends with the giant killer robot who is probably built by the Ruskies.

So what they put those two characters doing they not doing the smartest thing right the wise thing to do especially in Seas case where you're surrounded by Wise Guys. They do something that is a little more enlightened a little more inspired and more often than not shown to be the right way so a nice substitute for those two when you're just trying to learn you know where it's out of whack here is just to think of the difference between intelligence and intuition.

The Story Continuum

Finally I want to talk about the Story Continuum. Which is a little embarrassing because I spent a considerable amount of time this week writing an article about the Story Continuum, and how it works in several different stories, and I made the same mistake that I was pointing out other people were making and I didn't even realize it. I think it's a great learning experience, but as somebody who positions himself as a narrative expert it can be a bit humbling experience.

So when it comes to these Story Continuum. There is a giant Forum discussion on the discussed dramatic aboard where there are discussions about the Story Continuum and the difference between space and time and how it all works and the. Story, that was brought into question was Disney's Beauty and the Beast now in the seven years that I taught at the California Institute of the Arts and everywhere else. I go I always bring up the rose petals of Beauty the Beast as an indicator of an option lock. To me it's a really nice obvious way of showing. How we're getting closer and closer to the climax of that story.

We know that by his 21st birthday the Beast is going to forever be a beast and the way we know that is this Rose you know when the last Petal Falls. That's it you're stuck. That's your 21st birthday.

They could have gone two ways. They could have either made a big deal about the 21st birthday, and when his date is. And started out with okay, you're 18 and now you're 19 and now you're 20. That would have been really really weird so what they did is they used this rose petal as a symbol of it do kind of tick away the quote-unquote time that he had left to go in there, and I've always seen that as an option lock, but some people had difficulties understanding it because of course it was tied to his 21st birthday.

As I've mentioned in the past the approach of making dramatic easier to understand by using easier more comfortable terminology can obscure or make more difficult Concepts that are really simple in nature for the Story Continuum it used to be the difference between a time lock and a space lock the two elements were time and space and the reason for that is dramatic is given when you if you are looking at it from a dramatica point of view is that every single complete narrative is an analogy of a single human mind trying to solve a problem and part of the way we appreciate the problems. We have to solve is either in a context of space or time our minds can either Break Stuff into space limits, or time limits

originally, it was space lock and you can see in some of the old writings and old documents it comes up. And eventually you know to get away from these sci fi you know space lock maybe this is only for science fiction. They got away from that and turned it towards option lock now option lock is great because you're still dealing with spaces you're dealing with different items of things and when it comes to you have three wishes well. I have three options and once those wear out then, That's it or something like seven you have seven deadly sins and once you work through. Those seven different options. It's all over for you. I guess it's the sixth one and you do the seventh one.

But the problem is then that moves it more towards the character's point of view the story form and these story points that I mentioned earlier they're from the author's point of view. This is what the author is trying to say with their story. It's not what the characters think it's not how they are perceiving the Story Continuum especially because from a subjective point of view those limits actually feel opposite of what they are so in a time lock you'll feel like you're running out of space. As the time dwindles down. There's only so many more places. I can check right if you have to be to let's say you're you have a movie or trying to get to you can't find your keys. Well. You have your house. That's your space lock right. That's your. Option lock so again. There's space there's only a certain amount of spaces that you can find the keys it's not a certain amount of options to find your keys and you work through your house, and eventually I've only got three or four more places. I can look as the time dwindles down. That's the subjective feeling of a Story Continuum of a Timespace.

In an option lock you feel like you're running out of time, if you have to get from here to the West Coast you know there's only so much as you're getting closer and closer. I don't have much time. I can't waste too much time talkin to you or eating at this restaurant eating this because I've got to make it to the West Coast that pressure is coming from you feel like you're running out of time, but really it's an option lock and this is the same exact problem. I made or the same exact mistake I made when I did my analysis when I was referring to Coco

I'd seen Pixar's Coco last week, and I wasn't too incredibly thrilled by it and especially in contrast to the Japanese anime your name, which I thought was probably one of the greatest films. I've ever seen in my entire life. If you haven't seen it you need to see it, but for a Pixar's Coco. I had issues with the story. I'm not quite sure what it is. I thought I had identified it in this in my original first draft of this article, but it turns out. I was just making the same mistake that everyone is making and I'm not really quite sure what it is about that film that feels weird to me. I'm sure eventually I will figure it out, but something about it. Just seems off

I had considered that the boy goes across Miguel goes across to the Land of the Dead, and he finds his long-lost relative and has to get him back so that we can all find out that Grandma Coco loves his music and I had thought that they had tied a time lock onto that with the curse that the boy was given where he was going to turn into a skeleton by midnight.

Well if you've seen the film not only is it not midnight, but there really isn't a time set it's just sunrise and sunrise is not a time. There's no time attached to when the Sun rises. sure originally the sunrise was what you would use to set time, and if you used a sundial in marked it that way perhaps, then you would get closer to what is an actual time lock but the sun's position in the sky, that's a space lock. That's you know where the sun's position. That's a space. That's how you are defining the limit and when all those spaces are checked off when there's no more space for it to go and it's above the Horizon. That's when the story climax

is it's not six o'clock in the morning it's when the Sun rises and that's space and because I got lost in the film whenever I felt that it was a time lock in wrote this whole section about how it was off often clearly it wasn't off I was off.

And that's a mistake that a lot of people make when they don't understand the difference between time lock and space lock because when you set what that limit is that'll change how you approach the story that'll change how tension is built up in the story and the actions and decisions that the characters make in the article this week. I also talked about ex machina, which is very clearly a time lock. There is one week Caleb comes to hang out with Nathan for some some fun some intellectual curiosity and in a week the helicopter is coming back to take him back to civilization now in the film. They don't constantly refer to time and a really nice reason for that is when you constantly refer to time half the audience effectively loses empathy with the main character because they appreciate just. A space lock let some people who just don't get time, and if you constantly refer to time all the time you're going to get rid of about half your audience

so what they did in ex machina is they just checked off the day's Monday Tuesday, Wednesday effectively using space to Define what that time is but still the the limit that it's coming at the very end that is a time lock in your running out of days. I don't have too many days left. That's the subjective experience of it, but the time lack is actually where the deadline is

and the litmus test for the Story Continuum when you're trying to figure it out for yourself is well. Okay, if I change the limit does it appreciably change the meaning of the story and that can be weird and for me. It's weird sometimes to understand. Well. How does that actually change the meaning of this story,

if you think of something like Pixar's Cars? Where he has a week to get to California to race way you can find out whether or not, that's a time lock or an option lock is to understand is the question being asked how far can you get in a certain amount of time or is it how much time will it take to get that far?

So either how far can you get in a certain amount of time or how much time will it take to get that far? Those are subjective questions to ask about the Story Continuum in 16 blocks of Bruce Willis Thriller. He has to get a witness to go testify about corrupt cops and he has two hours 10 a.m.. Is when the hearing is set two hours to get this guy 16 blocks

The question he asked himself is how far can he get in a certain amount of time can I get across those? 16 blocks if you change the time if you changed it to 11 a.m., or 2 p.m.. Suddenly it changes the meaning of the story now. There's a lot more room within which to operate

if you make it 23 blocks or 50 blocks, but it's still two hours that doesn't change the actual limit. That's how you can do the testes that that's how it changes the meaning of the story because what it is is the narrative is trying to show an approach to resolving problems and a context is set up at the beginning. This is the context. It's either going to be the problem. Here is one of space or it's one of time, and we're exploring the different approaches. We can to resolve that problem and whether or not it turns out success or failure. Lets us know the right or wrong solution.

so when it comes to cars if the race is extended 10 days or 14 days. It's not really going to change anything because it's about getting to the racetrack and getting across that Finish Line. It's about who are the different people that you can use who are the different people that you can get by and who the different people you can use on your way to winning that race what are the different notions of space that you have to get through to resolve that issue of winning, it's not really time time is not something that comes into play. overall, and I did not get into this into the article, but when it comes to the story structure that you're presented and dramatica story expert the selection of time lock or option lock. Doesn't change the actual structure what you're presented with and the reason for that is where it changes it is that a level that is beyond what dramatica presents to us? It's beyond the acts. It's beyond the sequences. It's down at the scene level and the Character level. That's where you would actually see the difference between an option lock and a time lock.

So you'll find some story forms where you'll get down to a choice between either time lock or option lock and one choice of the other won't make an appreciable difference in the story structure. You won't actually see any kind of difference.

But because you're dealing with audiences, and because you're dealing with audiences that have minds and the narrative is a model of the mind at work you want to ensure that you have this kind of limit in your story regardless of whether or not it actually shows up in the application you want to make sure you know whether or not you are dealing with a problem within the context of space or you're dealing with a problem. Within the context of time because that will change the meaning of the story if you could see how the 16 blocks example or the cars example where changing the different time those different deadlines changing those didn't really have an effect on the story that means if you just had that one that means you don't have the actual limit. You're using the wrong thing to bring in some kind of tension into your story. You know if you're using that time lock, but really what you have is an option lock. Then you're going to make choices with your characters. You're going to have them react to instances of tension you're going to be looking in the wrong place and you're going to create a false narrative.

So when it comes to the Story Continuum you want to think of the difference between time and space. You want to make sure that you're always looking at it from an objective point of view from the author's point of view. What is the problem you're exploring and what is it you want to say about that problem?

That's it for this week's podcast if you have any questions about the Story Continuum or about the relationship story through line feel free to write to me at narrative first.com/contact I hope you have a great week of writing, and I'll see you next time.

Narrative First theme by Alex Hull. Hear more on his Soundcloud, Operation Solace.