Over here, Vincent and the great and the good are chasing up what makes thematic play, how you author a theme.
And it’s come down to “You want A and B. Choose one and take the consequences.” Bearing in mind that postponing choice is a third choice, and the possibility of getting A and B, but that you can only choose one. The other may be an unplanned consequence.
And I’m trying like frig to come up with a response that incorporates Keith Johnstone’s how to create story.
For those joining us without having done the set reading (shame, shame), Johnstone proposes a model of;
1. Establish routine
2. Break routine
3. Re-incorporate elements
Now, the only way I think I can integrate the two models is to say that the point of breaking a routine is the point at which the characters have to choose A or B. It’s the kicker, or the bang. It’s the point at which you say “Can we carry on like we were? Should we?”
The problem with the A&B model is that it doesn’t tell us how to finish stories, which is what the Johnstone model does (re-incorporated everything and established a stable routine? You’ve finished the story). But perhaps if you’re looking for a non-closed story telling system (like an open-ended RPG campaign or a soap opera), re-incorporation is just another technique to reinforce the exploration.