Episode 257: The Five Commandments of Storytelling – Part 1


Danielle Kiowski, Shawn Coyne, Tim Grahl, Leslie Watts

Tim Grahl  00:00

Hello and welcome to the story grid podcast. My name is Tim Grahl and I am a struggling writer trying to figure out how to tell a story that works. Joining me shortly is Shawn Coyne. He is the creator and founder of story grid. Along with him is Leslie watts, our story grid publishing editor in chief, and Daniel Kiowski, our Chief Academic Officer at story grid University. This episode we’re kicking off a three part episode where we’re going to walk through the five commandment analysis of eyewitness by Ed McBain. This is a short story we’ve been working through the 624 analysis on for several weeks. And we’re really going to deep dive into the inciting incident, the turning point progressive complication, the crisis, the climax and the resolution. So let’s jump in and get started with this first episode.

Danielle Kiowski  00:53

Thanks, Tim. Today, we’re going over the five commandments. And these are the core principles of storytelling that are present in every unit of story. So by looking at them in ED McMahon’s eyewitness, we’re going to get a really good foundation for how to apply these principles to any unit of story, from a scene all the way up to a global story, because the short story is both. So we’ll be looking at them one at a time. And we’ll go over a little bit of what each one entails, and then look at how it’s executed in the story. So the first of the five commandments is the inciting incident. And this is an unexpected event that kicks off the events of the story. It comes from outside of the protagonist and incites the protagonist to action. So this is something that knocks the protagonists life off balance. And they have to come up with a strategy to deal with the inciting incident that has come into their life. So 10 What would you say the inciting incident of Ed McMahon’s eyewitnesses?

Tim Grahl  01:59

I think it’s off the page. So I would say that, since this is a crime story, we’ve established that and since it is about, which means it’s about justice versus injustice, and I started to think well, maybe it was when Mr. Struthers shows up to give his testimony. But then I realized like, okay, the protagonist can never be the source of the inciting incident because the inciting inciting incident is what knocks the protagonist, life off of balance. And so then I’m back to I think it was when he witnessed the murder of the police lieutenants wife, which would be a coincidental inciting incident, because he just happened to be walking down the street. But that would be off the page. But that is what incited what that is what knocked his life out of balance that got him to show up at the police station.

Shawn Coyne  02:59

Okay, and this is a, this is good, Tim, because one of the things that we’ve recently discovered, was laying Daniel and I is is another level of inciting incident. So let me just break it down a little bit. And this isn’t as terrifying as you might think. Alright, so just think of a rain drop on a lake, right? So a rain drop is a causal thing that drops on a lake and then all these, these, this ripple effect comes off of the after the raindrop hits, right. So that’s sort of the way to think of causal inciting incidents, right? So there’s a particle, let’s call it the raindrop, so a particle starts a series of ripple effects from that first, you know, energy transfer. So for looking at Ed mcbaine story, what you described was very, very, very, very good, but it was not coincidental. Coincidental means that it’s it’s an emergent property of, of the world. So it’s not an emergent property murders just don’t happen. They just don’t emerge, right. So someone has has, you know, killed somebody else. And then we have poor Struthers. So he’s the first wave of witness. Right? So he’s a ripple effect. And then he takes that, that that ripple effect to the police station. And now we’ve got other witnesses of the witness. And so it’s like that rippling effect of the raindrop on the lake, and it flows out like this. So the first insight incitement is causal, and that’s the murder of the lieutenant’s wife but Then when Struthers comes into the police station, it’s what we would call a wave causal. So there’s particle causal, which means a direct targeted shooting of energy from one being to another. And then there’s second and third order wave function

Tim Grahl  05:20

causal. So would you say let’s say Mr. Struthers was walking down the street and the lieutenant stabbed him? That would be the what did you call a particle particle? Okay particle causal. But because the lieutenant took action that caused the inciting incident that’s still causal, but it waved out and hit Mr. Struthers because he attacked his wife.

Shawn Coyne  05:48

Yeah, and if you’re familiar with with the theories of light, light, light is both particle photon. And it’s a wave function. So it’s two things in one. And so that is really a cool way to think of causal inciting incidents. Now the so let me just backtrack a little bit. So we can incite a soil story either causally or coincidentally, causal incitement has two flavors. One is particle, which means a direct targeted movement of energy from one to another, intentionally. And then there’s wave function. And that’s sort of like witnesses of particle movement. So Struthers is a wave function causal. That that’s what causes him to go to the police station. And the last one coincidental, we call that emergent. And it’s emergent because it’s coming from the environment itself. So a coincidental inciting incident could be a rain storm, or a tornado, or the wind blowing over something or something of that nature. So it’s coincidental is sort of a chaotic, random event that emerges from the environment, whereas causal has two flavors, particle or wave. So with this new definition, what would you call the inciting incident of eyewitness?

Tim Grahl  07:26

Causal wave? Correct? Okay, okay, no, that makes sense.

Shawn Coyne  07:35

But you can backtrack, you can backtrack to the particle, right. So that’s, as you said, it was off the page. So the original particle is off the page. So we’re just going to clarify what’s on the page. And that’s a wave function of the energy transfer that that you know, Struthers is walking in with.

Danielle Kiowski  07:58

Yeah, and another way to approach this too, is that we have conventions and obligatory moment, and we’ll look at our moments associated with every genre. And the obligatory moments in particular often include a flavor of inciting incident. So with a crime story, you have an inciting crime. So that’s the particle that you can trace back to, especially with a crime story, there’s always a particle that has incited and then it’s either, as you said, a direct attack in a crime that is acting as a particle within the story, or the wave that moves out from there. And so your story will start when the wave comes into contact with the potential protagonist. So in previous episodes, we talked about Sherlock Holmes, for example, the wave takes a long time to reach him, because it has to go through other people first. And so what does it mean for the wave to reach your protagonist? It’s when that original particle has created stakes for your protagonist. So when when their life is off balance, because of this, because of this thing, so when we look at something like Pride and Prejudice, this is another particle with a wave, someone moves in next door, the family finds out about it. It doesn’t create stakes for them until they find out about it, and they want to do something about it. And so we can see this in, in all different genres, we can see these different types of inciting incident. But but the key thing is that the wave has to reach that protagonist and in the crime story, it does it through the witnessing function. And that’s why we see it in terms of the eyewitness in this case.

Tim Grahl  09:51

So could a coincidental inciting incident also have particle and wave as well? Oh. So like I’m thinking, if I’m walking down the street, and I get struck by lightning, that would be a particle coincidental. But if my wife is walking down the street and gets struck by lightning, that would be a wave. coincidental? If I’m the protagonist in that story,

Danielle Kiowski  10:20

yeah. Yeah, that makes sense.

Shawn Coyne  10:23

Yeah, I buy it. I think that’s really, really, really good. And I’ll tell you where sort of the coincidental stuff comes from, I don’t know, a couple of months ago, Leslie, and Daniel and I were talking about the five senses, and how your senses have sort of distance functionality. So you can see things much further than you can smell them or hear them. Right. So when we’re talking about wave functionality, a lot of wave functionality can be expressed to the single audience member that that the author is is signaling to using sensory mechanisms, such that she can anticipate the wave hitting, eventually reaching her. So that’s another way to think of how incitement works. So for example, the latest a film recently was don’t look up. So the story was, they identified a wave functionality of coincidence, for months and months in advance, right? It’s this asteroid that’s heading to the to the earth that will destroy the earth. And so they have a long lead time to do something about it before the coincidence hits, before the emergence actually strikes as a particle. So that’s another technique that you can use to incite in a story is the discovery of an impending coincidental inciting, emergent system.

Tim Grahl  12:09

When that could be the same thing on the causal, right, because it’s like, I mean, how many action movies have started with a new killer bombs gonna go off? Right? You know, somebody set up a new killer bomb to go off, and now the whole movie is trying to stop it.

Shawn Coyne  12:25

Right? So that would be a causal wave function with a clock.

Tim Grahl  12:32

Okay? No, that makes sense.

Danielle Kiowski  12:35

Okay, so you pointed out also that it happens off the page. And so we should talk a little bit about invidious race beginnings. And we started addressing this a little bit by talking about how the inciting incident reaches our protagonist when the wave function creates stakes for them. And the the main thing that I want to bring up about in media stories, beginnings, this is a phrase meaning in the middle of things. So it means that the core of the particle of the inciting incident or the start of the wave has happened off the page. And then we’re encountering it at the beginning of our protagonist involvement. And so we have these, these moments, the like, the inciting crime happened off the page, that’s often true, not always true, but often true with crime stories, because part of the fun of it is figuring out what happened. And if you see that on the page, then you don’t do that. But the there has to be a what I call a re instantiation of the inciting incident. So we have to come into contact with the, the in the incarnation of the inciting incident as it affects our protagonist. And often this is, this happens with interesting verbal tenses. So here, he had seen a murder. And the site had sunken into the brown pits that were his eyes. This is the first line of the story. And he had seen a murderer talks about something that had happened previously, but then also talks about the effect on our protagonist. And so when we come into contact with him, we see already that the wave is hitting him. And this is that’s how we kick off the story. So when you see those kinds of tenses, you can you can identify them as instantiations of a previous inciting incident.

Leslie Watts  14:33

I want to jump in here for a second to just tie this to what we’ve done the work we’ve done before because we we started with the five leaf clover genre. And from there, of course, we get the content genre, right, which as Danielle and Tim talked about his crime, and so we, that tells us again, what are inciting incident or the nature of our inciting incident in terms of You know, what’s what’s actually happening? It has to be an inciting crime. So then that pops down into the pop what we’re what we used to call the What If. But now we call the proposition of possibility. And that’s creating the problem space for the story. And so we we have a question there that asks what’s inciting the protagonist. And that’s exactly what we have here. So we can see that event kind of rolling down through these different layers of analysis. And finally, with the, with the narrative device, we are looking at Sam’s problem and Sam’s problem is connected to and representative of the inciting incident. And that’s why the narrative device can be specific to this particular story, because it’s echoing that inciting incident.

Shawn Coyne  15:53


Danielle Kiowski  15:55

All right, so we can go on to our second commandment from there. And the turning point progressive complication is a critical moment in our story as as all five of them are. But let’s take a minute to break down what Turning Point progressive complication means. So first, I like to start with progressive complication. What’s that? Well, it’s a complication that arises as our protagonist tries to deal with the inciting incident. So out of the inciting incident, the protagonist comes up with an initial strategy to deal with what’s going on in the inciting incident. And because this is a strategy that they formed, pre transformation, if they have one, we’ll get to that. Because this is a strategy that they formed with imperfect information, an imperfect evaluation of what the inciting incident means for them. The strategy doesn’t work. So they try different aspects of the strategy. And we see them progress through trying, trying everything that they can come that they can think of, that they can come up with, to deal with the inciting incident that fits within their worldview. And what happens is that they come up with these strategies, the components of the strategy, I call them, like micro strategies, because they’re bits of their initial strategy. They come up with these ways to deal with the inciting incident, and they order them based on increasing risk and expense. So the thing that is the safest to do, we as humans will do first, and then next in the next in that. So as you watch the protagonist progression through the first part of the scene, you learn a lot about them. One, you learn all of the things that they think are possible to deal with the inciting incident as they exhaust it. The second thing is you learn how they prioritize different risks and costs. So an exercise that I like to do is like go through coming up with different ways to try and accomplish a goal. And this ties back to the goal state that we’ve talked about in previous weeks. So maybe in response to an inciting incident, you need to get someone on your side. And what will happen is that people will come up with different different micro strategies to accomplish that goal. So to get someone on your side, I remember one time we were talking about this, and it’s like come up with a common enemy was one or try to bribe someone is the other. And different people will prioritize those in different ways different people will put different quality quantities of risk on involving someone else and risking someone else’s reputation, versus risking your own reputation through it through a shady act, that kind of thing. So you learn a lot about an avatar, your simulated person, your what outside of story grid, we’ve called character, you learn a lot about your avatar through how they prioritize these things. So once all of those are exhausted, they realize that they can’t deal with the inciting incident with what they have come up with so far. And that’s the turning point. So that’s going to propel them into the rest of the commandments that we’ll talk about later. But the turning the turning point is the the complication. And progressive means that increasing level of stakes and cost and risk. And the turning point means that it’s exhausted all of everything that they know what, what they can do. And so it forces them into a dilemma that we’ll talk about in the next the next commandment, but it forces them to reconsider the strategy that they’ve been going with so far. So with all of that description of the turning point, progressive complication, which event do you think is the turning point progressive complication in the story, and then we can talk about how to analyze it and what the categories are and things like that.

Tim Grahl  20:00

Well, before I get to there, it made me start thinking through what you were just saying, right? Because one is, I can see that in my own life where like, when something is, you know, knocks me off balance, the first thing I tried to do is the most the thing I’ve done the most the thing that I think would work the most, you know, like, I’ve got this, you know, we have a garbage disposal in our sink. And then there’s this little piece of plastic in there that I can’t fucking get out of there. It’s been in there now for months. And the first thing I was like, Well, let me just grab my needlenose pliers to get it out. I’ve gotten stuff out before Well, it’s too big and it’s too I can’t get it. And so then I’m like, Well, let me try this. Well, let me try this. Let me try this. And by the time like the turning point was like, I was like, trying to like melt it with something to like, attach it and that wasn’t working on like F Fuck it. It just makes noise. I just left it alone. It’s been in there now for literally months. So in this case, I start thinking through like, okay, so Mr. Struthers, witnesses a murder. Now he doesn’t know that the person he saw do the murder is the lieutenant. So all he knows is there is somebody out here in my city who has committed a murder and I’m the only one that knows who it is. So what’s the first thing you you would want to do in that case? Well, you have to go tell the police. Right. So that’s what he does. He shows up and he’s like, I’m going to tell the police but as we’ve talked about in previous weeks, he knows the police department in my city is not super trustworthy. So I need to make sure that I talked to somebody who can actually protect me. And so then that’s when all of these negotiations start going back and forth between Struthers and capelli and Capello he’s, you know, pulling out his his, you know, his toolbox and Struthers, just pulling out his toolbox, and they’re each kind of like trying a tool and throwing it back away and trying for the next tool. And what I identified as the turning point because it is the thing that happens that Mr. Struthers had had no tool ready to deal with. It was when the lieutenant walks in the room and he sees that the lieutenant is the murderer. So the exact so it’s revelatory. So it’s well now I’m for Struthers it was revelatory for the lieutenant who was active now I’m wondering is there like, you know, way functions to this too but so for me it was when the lieutenant enters the room is when he when he so if I if I pointed out the exact the exact place it would be. And let’s see. We we’ve we’ve waited for about five minutes when the door open and voice line with anguish and fatigue said Mac tilt. Mac tells me you’ve got a witness. I turned from the window ready to say yes sir. And Struthers turns to face the door at the same time. His eyebrows lifted in his eyes grew wide. That was the turning point when he saw the lieutenant enter.

Danielle Kiowski  23:29

Great. That’s the exact thing that we have to. And so as you’re pointing out, he doesn’t have any tools to deal with this for a couple of reasons. So what we can look at is that we can look at the inciting incident as an event that has some aspects that the protagonist knows how to deal with he knows how to report a crime. But it also has invisible aspects to it that the protagonist doesn’t know to try to deal with maybe or tries to deal with them in the wrong way. And so I think one is what you’ve pointed out that he doesn’t. He knows that the police in his town are untrustworthy, but he doesn’t know how high it goes. That’s one part of it. And I think the other part is that he Struthers like what’s his primary concern throughout the story, his own safety. I would say it’s his family. More than that. He right he says, You know, I don’t I won’t. You got to promise me I won’t get into any trouble and then married man, I got two kids I can’t afford to. And so he cares so much about his family and his family safety. It’s inconceivable to him that a man would murder his own wife. And so he knows coming in that the lieutenant was married to the victim and he doesn’t understand the potential that the husband of the victim would be corruptible at the least. And he definitely doesn’t understand that he would be the perpetrator. So he thinks he’s going into a safe environment because of the characteristics of the person to whom he wishes to speak. That’s why he wants to speak to the lieutenant. And then that, as you pointed out, falls apart when the lieutenant walks in, and he has to, he has to confront the mistaken way in which he’s been thinking about the circumstances surrounding the crime. So you started to qualify it as revelatory. So we should go into the different categories, because there are particle and wave considerations as we go into this. And then also active and revelatory. So we’ll talk about the different breakdowns, and then we can talk about what this is, when we talk about the active versus revelatory, which you started to get into by saying that this is a revelatory turning point, we do have those distinctions. And then we also have the distinction of the particle and wave and then emergent, which is the coincidental type of that. So they interact so that there are six options for a turning point. And so, so each of active and revelatory will have these three components of particle wave and emergent. So we can talk about all of these categories, and then talk about how this turning point plays out in terms of those distinctions. So active and revelatory, which you started to get at is the distinction between whether the turning point is something that is an action that an avatar does or that happens in the environment. So this is something where something is affecting our protagonist right now. So a storm hits, they’re caught in the storm, someone actually does something to them, someone says something to them, this is an action, that that changes the value that we’re looking at in the scene. Or it could be a piece of information. So again, it could be someone says something to them, that reveals something that they didn’t know, before they learn something about the environment, like a storm is coming. So these are the that’s the distinction between active and revelatory is that it’s an action versus a piece of information that they’re going to react to, then within that, we can look at how that’s expressed in terms of the the kind of event that is presenting the turning point to our protagonist. So we have particle is a verbal piece of information or an action. So this is someone tells our protagonist something it’s targeted at them. That’s why it’s a part of our particle. And so they’re saying to them, this piece of information is true, or they’re saying to them something that’s that’s an action, like, letting them know about a decision that they’re making in the moment, something like that. If it’s a wave, then it’s nonverbal. So this is something that isn’t directed at your protagonist. But this is something that they can observe and pick up on that’s coming from another avatar that is, based on sights, sounds, all of their senses that we were talking about, they could smell something, they could taste something, but it’s nonverbal. And so that wave of sensory input hits them, and they experience the turning point. And then the third one is emergence. And this is something that comes out of the context of their environment. So this is like a storm spinning up. Something that comes directly from the context, it doesn’t come from another avatar. And here we’re talking about whether it’s when I was talking about active versus versus revelatory, it was talking about whether it hits in an action, this is something that they have to deal with right now. And something that’s upon them, versus something that they learn about, that’s farther off. So it’s a storm is coming. That’s now a piece of information. So the three categories of particle, wave, and emergent, can all be active or revelatory, based in the way that we’ve talked about. And so you end up with these six options.

Tim Grahl  29:30

I think I understand. So I think if I’m looking at particle particle is something that’s hitting the protagonist directly. Wave is something that isn’t directed at the protagonist, but causes the turning point but comes from another avatar. And then emergent would be something coming from the context. Again, it couldn’t be pointed at the avatar because it there is no that’s not what the con textas but I was a little confused on the active or causal versus revelatory particle, because like, just let’s say, the scene is about you and I having a conversation, I’m the protagonist. And the turning point is when you slap me in the face, like, to me that would be active or causal particle, even though you didn’t say, because you said that if somebody says something directly to you, would it be an act? Because to me, what would you say to me? Unless you said something like, Fuck you that might be active instead of revelatory. But couldn’t there be an actual action as well?

Danielle Kiowski  30:50

Yeah, that’s a really good question. And Shawn, you had said verbal versus nonverbal? So do you want to take that?

Shawn Coyne  30:56

These are great questions. And these are a little bit tricky, because it depends on where you’re looking. Okay, so let’s start with, let’s just use the example of the story. So that I can explain it. So an active Turning Point progressive complication would it would have intentionality. And so it could be a particle intentionality, where someone directs their energy at the protagonist. So that’s one. The second one is wave function. And this is when the protagonist witnesses targeted energy at a third party by the antagonist. So it’s a witnessing function. So for example, in the story, before Struthers sees the lieutenant, he hears him interact with capelli. And he says something like, Hey, Mack, I heard you got a live one here. And so that is a wave function that that is active, because the antagonist is directing energy. But it’s a wave, it’s a second order effect from a particle that’s going to a third party and that would be compelling. So if we’re looking at this in terms of how do we get the information to Sam, our single audience member about how the scene is turning, we need to think about okay, so that’s active. I’m sorry to keep flip flopping because I need to explain, revelatory now. So active is about the transfer the deliberate intentional transfer of energy in overt action that an antagonist sends into the context. The other con revelatory is what I call a tell and it’s inadvertent unintended, unintentional. So that means that the, the antagonist is giving away information to the witness without intending to. Right, so the lieutenant is doing a revelatory particle action when he directs his voice had capelli. Because Struthers is witnessing it. So it’s revelatory to strugglers, while it’s active by the antagonist. And this is the real test for a very good turning point. It’s revelatory, Tory from the perspective of the protagonist. And it’s active intentionally or not intentionally by the antagonist. So the tell could be so when we’re talking about senses before Struthers sees the lieutenant, he hears him. So that’s sort of the first like, what is that? That sounds very familiar. And then he gets confirmation. So the wave then strikes him in the face with particle energy when he sees the lieutenant. And now it’s like, oh, my gosh, confirmation. I know where that sounds coming from. That’s the killer. and all of that happens in that very, very short amount of text. And we as Sam experience, that exact thing that Struthers experiences. We hear this voice. And the other wonderful thing is if you go back into the text Struthers does hear the killer kill the victim, he hears something like shut up bench or something like that. So he has already been attuned to the, to the to the noise, so the noise and then the site is a confirmation. So that’s why that’s why capelli believes Struthers saw witnessed a murder. And that’s why he believes that that the lieutenant is the killer, because he’s got to double factor confirmation of the evidence. Strothers without knowing the lieutenant is the killer tells compelling that he heard the killer, strike the victim and scream and yell something. And then when capelli witnesses Struthers hear that same voice and then see Capella he’s like, oh, boy, I got this is a this is a real conundrum. Because now, now that third order effect of the murder now hits capelli and capelli witnesses the killer to this is a brilliant story. So turning points. They’re either active or revelatory. And when they interact properly, you can see the so you see this, it began with an inciting incident that was a wave function. And now that wave has hit directly the protagonist. So before it was a second order effect that he witnessed that he didn’t have to confront. And now it’s confronting him because now the lieutenant has targeted him as the witness to his to his behavior. And that’s why Struthers well, I’ll stop talking there. But I hope that that helps when you think of intentionality as action versus unintentional tell like a poker tail.

Tim Grahl  37:27

So when I’m thinking through it, though, I’m thinking through it from the standpoint of the protagonists. And so it would be unintentional because it so this would be a revelatory wave.

Shawn Coyne  37:44

In the terms of the protagonist in the terms of capelli, who is the Avatar writer, as opposed to the avatar player in the story. It’s, it’s active because he’s choosing to tell Sam the actions of the antagonist. So it’s a beautiful when you have I’m sorry to bring up strange language, but this is a linguistic term, you have sort of two time signatures in certain kinds of stories. One is called sin chronic, which means points in time that just are continuous. And then you have diachronic time zone, and that would be someone reflecting upon a sin chronic series. And so we have an author avatar, an author, NARRATOR named capelli. And he goes he had seen a murderer. And then he goes and lays out the chronology of what happened that day, when Struthers came in to the police precinct. And the way he’s doing this is because he’s he’s telling this story to Sam. And we’ve already identified Sam, single audience member as a young green horn in the police department. So capelli the diachronic narrator is is is laying out the relevant chronology for a to make a point. He’s telling Sam this story for a reason. He’s telling Sam how to solve a problem that seems unsolvable. How do I let people know that an injustice has occurred without getting targeted? As someone who’s breaking the blue wall of silence silence, which is a word in the police force. You’d never read out your fellow cop and capelli the diachronic narrator is explaining this to Sam. So this turning point is critical because it’s operating on Two levels capelli the diachronic narrator is explaining to Sam the actions of the antagonist to let them know that this is the this is the person who committed the crime without any subtlety. And then poor Struthers. He’s getting the revelation. So guess what’s happening for Sam? She’s getting both. She’s getting a double factor answer to her justice problem. So she has no, she’s, it’s clear to her that the lieutenant is the killer. So that’s the turning point how it’s operating at these two sides time signatures. One of the turning points is an active value shift from somebody intentionally shooting particle energy to another person that turns the value for Struthers and the other one is the revelatory feedback from that action.

Tim Grahl  41:16

So when we’re choosing when we’re doing a 624 analysis, and we’re choosing which one to write down, are we are we writing down from the sim? Are we writing down from the protagonist? Are we writing down from the author like which 1am I supposed to be writing down? Or does this need to turn into, you know, a crisis matrix which we’re getting to next? Are we having a turning point matrix where we’re looking at it from? Well, what is what would Sam say? What would author say? What would protagonist say? I want to know how to get the answer. Right.

Shawn Coyne  41:57

Well, that’s that’s a fantastic question. And confidentially. This is something that Leslie and Danielle and I have been struggling with, right. And here’s, here’s my hypothesis, as it stands right now, is that this this technique of having a synchronic and diachronic double time signature, in first person narration will require a turning point, progressive complication matrix, so that you can suss out how things are turning at both time signatures. So you would have your on the surface time signature, and then you would have your, your above the surface time signature. And so on the surface is sin chronic, and above the surface is diachronic. So the author’s intentionality to signal to Sam would be in the diachronic. And then what happens in the actuality you would want to look at it from the point of view of the protagonist. So one you’re going to look at from the point of view of the Avatar author, and one you’re going to look at from the point of view of the Avatar protagonist in the synchronic chronology of the scene. So one is Struthers and that would mean it would be a revelatory turning point. When you’re looking at capelli as the diachronic. Author, then that turning point would be an active turning point, because he’s actively choosing to send signal to Sam of the lieutenant’s behavior that revealed itself to the protagonist. All right. Here’s the bottom line. Does the same turn. Yeah, yeah. So it moves from Struthers is safe to now he’s he’s really threatened. And justice is moving from May these things are gonna get shot. Oh, boy, this is a tricky one. How is justice going to prevail now? So I’ll stop there. But the turning point, the critical thing is to notice when the value shifts when the strategies of the protagonist fail, when they’re like they have a holy moly moment. What am I going to do now?

Leslie Watts  44:22

So I want to tie as usual, I want to tie the turning point in the progressive complications that we’re looking at, up to the narrative device level where we’re talking about the author telling Sam a story to help Sam solve the problem. And one of the things that we’re doing with the progressive complications is revealing different aspects of the problem to Sam. So we’re illuminating the problem. We’re not telling Sam, the author is not telling Sam, you must do this. The author is illuminating things. So as we See the protagonist using micro strategies to try to solve their problem that arose from the inciting incident. So they’re pursuing their goal, then Sam is getting to watch what works and more importantly, what’s not working, and then what ultimately fails. And so this is the important thing that ties the narrative device down to the turning point progressive complication is what the author is trying to illuminate for Sam with respect to her problem.


The Book

Is this your first crack at writing and finishing your book? Are you lost on how to tackle this project? This is the place to start.

First Time Writer

Is this your first crack at writing and finishing your book? Are you lost on how to tackle this project? This is the place to start.


Is this your first crack at writing and finishing your book? Are you lost on how to tackle this project? This is the place to start.