Thanks Chris. Something I'm deeply confused about at the moment is the interplay between Story Points, Plot Progression and Theme Browser. To clarify further, I'm unsure if I'm supposed to/or can simultaneously refer to each of these to determine the information I need to include in my story.
Before I go further with that, I also need to add, I'm confused by an aspect of Story Points each time I refer to it too. As an example, in the main character throughline in my story, story points highlights that my story belongs to the manipulation class. That's fine. Though I'm only at the point now where I'm asking, "Wait, is this just for me to know, to help remind me to keep my story thematically anchored my story, or is it important that I communicate this information covertly or overtly to an audience, laterally or otherwise?" At this point, I'm presuming, it's just for me to know - just for my reference.
This in itself is confusing because when I get to concern, it seems plain to me that this is something I obviously need to communicate to an audience to tell the story - what my main character's concern is. Yet the way, concern and throughline are represented in the chart, there's no indication they are to be utilised differently.
Anyway, that's only the beginning, and it's very much secondary to the bigger headaches I'm saddling at present.
After my Story Points chart, shows me what my main character's concern is (changing one's nature), I then see that the issue is Rationalization and the Counterpoint is Obligation. So at this point I interpret this to mean I need to either make a statement or an argument about the variation Rationalization and likewise Obligation. These are the variations that are at the centre of my thematic conflict.
So to make a statement about Rationalization, I deduce that I can then break it down to its four elements (consider/reconsider/support/oppose). At this stage, I ask myself, "But at what point in the story do I include this information?" If I refer to the plot progression tab, it suggests this is all nested under the umbrella of the type Changing One's Nature, and according to my plot progression is explored in signpost 1.
So am I plotting my story on the continuum outlined in the Plot Progression tab or am I paying attention to the Story Points tab, which simply states the points I need to explore without saying when (Act 1 etc.) in the story.
So anyway, there's all that happening, but then above you talk about how the components of a quad within a throughline are a static way of looking at a theme. You mention the issue (it's the variation Ratioanlization in my case) and you mention it's counterpoint (which is obligation) and the "two items that provide a context for evaluating them", which I'm going to assume are the variations of Commitment and Responsibility, as outlined in my Theme Browser. The first question I ask myself here is, "Okay, so what's an example of when I might explore these according to the plot continuum in my story? They belong to the Changing One's Nature type and if I look at my Plot Progression tab, I'm supposed to explore that from Signpost 1 and wrap it up before Signpost 2. But I still have an three other Acts to explore my theme through. So what am I to explore there?" Going by what you mentioned above, I'm unsure.
But back to Story Points. My confusion is further intensified, when I see that it prescribes that I need explore the elements of the Rationalisation variation (they are Consider/Reconsider/Support/Oppose). I'm confused here because the Story Points appeared to initially give weight to the important of weighing up the variations Rationalisation (issue) and Obligation (counterpoint) against one another. In my mind, that meant weighting things so that both got basically equal consideration so they could be fairly compared. yet, in Story Points, it only outline that Rationalisation should be explored at the elemental level (Consider/Reconsider/Support/Oppose). It does not specify the same for Obligation. So when I see that, I'm scratching my head, and thinking, "OK, so I'm not to cover Obligation by examining it at the elemental level, but I am to examine Rationalisation at that level, and yet I'm to weight Rationalisation and Obligation against each other, but without giving them the same depth of consideration in the story?"
And while that's all happening, I'm still thinking, "And this, according to my Plot Progression tab, is all nested within the Changing One's Nature type, which is supposed to be explored within Signpost 1 and the Journey before Signpost 2."
Also, my next confusion is that, in Story Points, the Conceiving an Idea type is conceputalised as a benchmark. Yet, in my Plot Pgoression tab it's assigned as the type to be explored in Signpost 3. So here I'm wondering, "Am I supposed to do both? Am I supposed to create a story that overlays the points outlined with Story Points (Conceiving an Idea as benchmark in this instance) with the Signpost Outlined in the Plot Progression tab?
This probably speaks to my initial confusion about the interplay between the Plot Progression/Story Points/Theme Browser tabs. As I've alluded to above, when I heed what one seems to suggest, it seems to be in conflict with the directives inherent in the other. So if there is no definitive answer to what I am supposed to heed, what are some examples? Is it necessary to refer to the Story Points and the Plot Progression tab when mapping out your story? Do they operate parallell? Or are they used singlularly and independently of one another? It seems to be that it's necessary to heed the the points made in both to map out a story but I'm really going by intuition. That's not to say I haven't read and watched loads. It's just that I find myself experiencing this pattern whereby each time I feel like I'm close to making sense of how to map out my story in a functional way that's not going to bite me down the line, I receive a new piece of epically-explanatory information that knocks the whole house of cards down and sends me reeling. It's a pattern that's becoming well ingrained in my headspace now and if there's a simple solution to flick on a light bulb and keep it on, what a relief that would be.
I'll leave it there for now. I don't think I got to asking all my questions but I think - hope - the crux of my confusion is inherent. Only response I can't make use of at this moment is a fobbing off on the basis that I am over-thinking and need to just go with instincts and be less mechanical etc. I want to do all that AFTER I've been mechanical and analytical. I know I don't understand what I feel I need to at the moment and it will be great relief when I can get past that. In short, do I simultaneously use Story Points/Plot Progression and Theme Browser as references to create a road map to tell my story? And if so, how do they complement one another? And is there a simple solution to making sense of this?
*If there's a specific point in the theory book that directly addresses my over-arching question, great. I've read most of it to date, and especially the parts I thought would clear this up, but I remain confused.