Building a story with Purpose (and Methodology etc)

Hey @flight here’s the thread that was brought up here:

Wasn’t sure how best to go about it. I started to dump several story appreciations all at once, but decided to go slow and just start with the below point.

Os Physics-hunting treasure
As a source of conflict, we can say anything at this point. Pirates hunting treasure pits the crew against the crew of ghosts, creates jealousy and stirs up mutiny, leaves swaths of destruction through a small coastal village. All of those things sound good, but they don’t sound like a story yet because they have no Purpose. So let’s try a couple.

We could say the Purpose of this throughline is for the Pirates to find the treasure. If we go with that, I’m suddenly not so worried about the people of the coastal village. Instead, I’m worried about how the people of the coastal village are getting in the way of the pirates as the pirates search for this treasure.

Or I could say the Purpose of this story is to stop the pirates from hurting others in their quest for treasure. Now I don’t really even care if the pirates find the treasure. Instead I care about how the residents are dealing with these mirderous, vicious pirates.

Either of those purposes gives some shape And energy to the story that the gist alone wasn’t able to. And they each give a very different shape and energy.

Hopefully that makes sense. I’ll come back later to see how these purposes might affect the Concern level and lower.


The confusion I’m having here is that these:

sound a lot like Goals (Concern level) to me. (In this case Obtaining or Doing). How do you distinguish them?


Great question! I ran into the same thing before I ever started bringing up Purpose, so I think I have an answer that satisfies it. But let me say again (I think I’ve said this before) that I think what I’m saying is well grounded in theory, but you might go to Chris or Melanie or Jim and have them say no, Purpose is used way differently than Greg is trying to use it! That said, here’s my answer. Apologies if it ends up being longer than it needs to be (I am, as is my custom, going to take the long road there).

First, we all know that in Dramatica you have inequities that get treated like problems. The conflict one experiences doesn’t come from Universe or from Mind, but somewhere between them. When you put this in front of a Linear mind, that mind doesn’t want to address the balance of the appreciations. It wants to ‘fix’ the appreciation it views as being out of alignment. That means that it will look at the conflict that only exists because of both appreciations and it will say, for instance, that the Mind is fine, there’s no conflict coming from the Mind. But ALL of the conflict is coming from Universe. Since all of the conflict is coming from Universe, this particular problem solver will address the Universe with a Purpose (intended and desired result) of ‘fixing’ the Universe-whatever that means that to the problem solver.

Because of the way Linear problem solving works, this looks like a goal. I would love for a truly Holistic minded person to chip in and let me know if they would consider this type of Purpose not as a goal, but as a direction. But that’s the first part of the answer. Linear minded problem solvers should, by nature, see the addressing of one side of an inequity at any level as very similar to a goal. But this is not a Goal in the sense that Dramatica uses it. Dramatica Goals are about the Concern.

Just a quick aside, here. The Goal is connected to the Concern. Seems like an obvious choice if Concern is the spatial/Linear appreciation of that level. If it were connected to the Signposts it would probably be called the Direction. Also makes sense that Dramatica points out a Goal but not a direction since it’s focused on the structural view and direction is more dynamic.

Anyway, once you decide on a Purpose, you then have to decide on how to achieve that Purpose. This is the Methodology. How does one achieve finding the treasure? They can Understand something, Learn something, Do something, or Obtain something. So while the Purpose is for the pirates to find the treasure, the Goal isn’t automatically going to be Obtaining the treasure. And in fact obtaining the treasure may not even be a gist in the story at all. After all, one might not be able to find the treasure until one has Obtained the map. In fact, one may not even be able to obtain the treasure until one has Obtained the map. Notice the subtle differences in that.

If you have a Purpose of the pirates finding the treasure and a Goal of Obtaining the map, then what you are saying is that Obtaining the map is how the pirates intend to achieve the story’s Purpose Of finding the treasure. So now the Goal of Obtaining the map looks very different from a goal/Purpose of finding the treasure. And just to push it further, maybe Obtaining the map is just a Signpost along the way while the real Goal is to Understand the riddle. Now what you are saying is that Understanding the riddle is how the pirates intend to find the treasure.

So that’s the second part of the answer. Yes, the Purpose looks like a goal to a linear mind, but the Goal is an appreciation not of Purposes but of Methodology. And Success or Failure is linked to Goal. I haven’t gone too far into what that means, but at the moment I assume it means one can find Success (Obtain the map) but not achieve ones Purpose (someone already took the treasure, the map was a hoax, etc) or Fail (they never Obtained the map) and yet still achieve the Purpose (who needs the map when we just accidentally stumbled into this cave where all the treasure was hidden?).

Does that make sense/work as an answer?


Maybe! It feels like there something potentially very useful in what you’re going for with Purpose/Methodology etc. here, but I probably need to re-read your answer a few more times.

I am wondering if part of the problem is the limitations of language and the number of available terms in English to explain these distinctions. To me, Purpose sounds a lot more like Goal than Methodology does (which sounds like how you choose to achieve the goal).

But then, it does make sense to say if your Purpose is X, your Method for achieving that Purpose could be Doing, Understanding, Learning or Obtaining.

So I need to think about this more.


I agree with @Lakis that attaching Purpose to Class is definitely muddying the waters by bringing some Goal or Concern-like qualities into the Class level… but I’m liking some things about this idea of Class as containing Direction at a layer above Goals.

I think this might work for another Concern than Obtaining. The trouble I’m finding with this example is that if the real Purpose is finding the treasure and the goal is Obtaining the map, there’s only a hair’s difference between the two - they both are essentially Obtaining - if they find the treasure it still feels like a success even if they’ve failed to find the map. It’s as if Obtaining the Map has become a Requirement for Obtaining the Treasure. I suppose you could say our heroes fail to obtain the map but stumble upon the treasure encased in a radioactive glacier - so they haven’t found it but haven’t Obtained it, but Obtaining includes Achieving, so regardless of not finding the map, this still reads as an ironic success - like obtaining the Maltese Falcon but discovering it isn’t at all what you thought it would be.

But there’s lots of stories where there’s a sense of obtaining in the goal, but a dramatica analysis shows the overall goal is something other than obtaining. I wonder if @Greg’s idea of Purpose isn’t the “Why do they want it” behind the goal? (I know Purpose covers this at the Character/Element level, but every goal has an “In order to…” behind it. “In order to bring ultimate peace to the world, a secret organization sets out to bring down all world governments” … “In order to give hope to children everywhere, Christmas must be saved” (much more thought might bring better examples of course…)

  • Lawrence of Arabia: yes, everyone wants to Learn something in this story, but why they want to learn is the bigger point. From the Dramatica Query System:

The goal is to:
DRYDEN: “Find Prince Feisal. […] Find out what kind of man he is. Find out what his intentions are. I don’t mean his immediate intentions - that’s Colonel Brighton’s business, not yours. I mean his intentions in Arabia altogether.”

But behind that:

“In doing so, the British hope to discover Feisal’s political ambitions and how they can neutralize any plans of uniting tribes like Auda’s and Ali’s into an Arabian nation, and so protect British post-war interests in the region.”

So at the level of the Author’s Intention, or the Storyform’s Purpose, is the Purpose of the story to “Learn Prince Feisal’s intentions”? Or is it to “protect British post-war interests in the region.”? Or is it “to defeat the Turks and weaken the Germans”? (DQS system Thoughline: Activities Illustration)

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Probably the limitation lies more in my personal ability to clearly convey the ideas. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to suggest that any of the points I’m addressing as if they were new thoughts actually are new or groundbreaking. A lot of this is probably way more basic/obvious than it sounds. The overwhelming majority of stories are probably already being built with a Purpose. The useful part of digging into Purpose, then, isn’t about having a new tool. It’s knowing the tools that you have so you can use them better, or to know when to use and when to not. So a shorter answer might be that Purpose is like a Goal but It’s not at the right level to be a Goal. Or that we don’t need to think look at Purpose or Methodology because we get close enough with Goal. But I don’t think either of those answers are going to get us to a deeper understanding of the tools available. And as a wise man recently suggested, maybe understanding Dramatica is more my thing :wink: So i feel like most people probably already get this at a subconscious level, but are maybe combining them like a Linear Problem Solver trying to explain space and time.

So part of the usefulness I think we can pull from these ideas will come when we are able to start separating them to see how one is an intended result and one an implementation of elements to achieve that result. Another part of the usefulness will be in seeing how we use them to guide the story we are telling, when we see that, yes, every appreciation is a source of conflict, but also that each level provides a view of how to address that conflict or of what do with it that’s turned one quarter away from the levels above and below it.


Could it be that the Purpose is just really simple and general? (or genre-al is @jhull would spell it :stuck_out_tongue: )

e.g. in trying to storyform Dirty Dancing, I placed the OS in MInd. It seemed like the Purpose of the story was to change people’s minds about different social classes.

So maybe the Purpose of the pirates story is just to show what happens when cruel pirates search for treasure. Show the activities of their search, show them harming others, show them getting their comeuppance at the end.

Or the Purpose of a superhero movie in Physics is to show cool superhero powers and fights and show what happens when those get out of control or whatever.

Or say I was wrong about Dirty Dancing and the OS is actually in Universe. In that case maybe the Purpose was to bring together groups of people from different social classes and show them clashing, and see how that boils out.


I know it seems this way, but there’s quite a difference. The map is not the treasure is not the map. What if their method of finding the treasure was obtaining the space ship? Obtaining a good grade? Obtaining the office of president? They don’t look so close anymore.

Finding the treasure is only Obtaining if you view it as a method of achieving a Purpose. When you view it as the Purpose, it’s not Obtaining at all. It’s Physics. I know the difference seems very slight, bit that slight difference makes all the difference.

I suspect this is because you are considering a story with a plot that shows us pirates hunting for a treasure and not pirates trying to collect a map. I also suspect you are assuming that it will feel like a success because they got what they wanted. I know advice has been given from those who know better than I that you have to ‘feel’ the storyform. But success or failure isn’t a feeling. It’s a logistical analyses of whether something was accomplished or not. Objectively speaking, it’s as far removed from feeling as one could get. Try imagining a story where the pirates are the bad guys and the MC is trying to stop the bad guys. And when he fails, he continues to have all of his personal angst. So he’s put all of his efforts into preventing the pirates from Obtaining the map. The pirates failed, but still wound up with the treasure and the MC is more afraid than ever. Still feel like a success?
A child’s purpose may be to achieve a good grade. That purpose doesn’t care if the child studies for it or cheats for it. The Goal is about pulling off a particular method to achieve a desired result.

I think it is.

@flight, I think that by disagreeing you’ve actually found yourself on my side of the fence! :smile:

I haven’t seen the movie or read through the analyses. But as it’s show , I would have to argue that the Purpose is not to learn, but whatever it is that they hope to achieve by learning.

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Yes! I know I’m making it sound much harder than it actually is, but i think once we get used to it, it becomes clear how obvious it should have been.

As an analogy, I used to try to play Guitar Hero, and I would fail at the harder, faster songs. Then one day someone told me I was probably trying to play too fast. So I went home and tried to move my fingers slower and finally started getting a good score! Purpose, Goal, and Methodology are all separate. If we stop looking at how similar they are so we can spot the difference, we’ll see those differences and be better able to exploit them within a story.


Ever funnier, I’m really liking your application of Purpose to Class - I wasn’t trying to disagree with you at all, I’m just pointing to an inconsistency in the Map/Treasure example and trying to apply your idea to Lawrence of Arabia which I think is a better example, but I probably messed up my own argument! :joy:

Your breakdown of my argument looks interesting - I’ll give it a second read later on.


I don’t care if you were trying to disagree. The funny part is that I lay out a paragraphs long explanation, and then you and Mike are like ‘nah, I think it’s this’ and lay out a sentence that cuts to it much better than I could’ve dared dream. Haha.

But is it clear that I’m saying the Purpose gives a direction to the story that just a single Purposeless gist doesn’t give? Because I think that’s the strength in bringing a Purpose into it.

I probably won’t be able to reply again for a while, so maybe that’ll give you a chance to look it over and see if there’s any more discussion on Purpose needed. And if not, I’ll come back to look at how seeing Concerns and Signposts as Methodologies can bring something to the table.


Okay, I think I see what you mean here. If we think of Purpose as already existing at the Class level (and I’ll give some examples in a minute), then once the Initial Driver kicks in, a Goal crystallizes around the How or What of achieving that Purpose. So if the Pirates’ activities at the Class level of Physics is physical adventures for the Purpose of getting rich and then they hear of a treasure, a Story Goal of Obtaining the treasure arises as a means to fulfill that Purpose… and finding the map will likely be a Requirement or Prerequisite. But if the Pirates have been searching the seven seas for years with the Purpose of finding the mythical treasure, and then hear of a secret map, Obtaining the map becomes the Story Goal.

Star Wars works this way - the OS Activities (from the DQS again): Star Wars: A New Hope: “Star Wars is about a war between the Empire and the Rebellion. There is not any set place where this needs to take place, but is an exploration of the feints, attacks, and battles that occur between the two forces.” But the Purpose already implicit behind these Activities is “to win the war.” But that’s not the goal of A New Hope, and neither is to take down the Death Star. The Story Goal is usually expressed as something like “to fight effectively” - which is what Leia and Luke and the Rebels have to do once Vader brings the fight to them.

Yes - but I still have the question, is the approach I’m suggesting above what you mean by adding Purpose to the Gist (such as the gist “hunting treasure” becomes giving the Purpose to the characters “For Pirates to find the treasure”)? Or do you mean the Purpose is more at the level of the Author’s intention with the story, like in @mlucas’s examples:

Or both?

I’ll add these two examples of how characters’ Purpose is often embedded in the OS Throughline: Universe illustrations from the DQS:

Boyz N The Hood: Everyone in the hood is stuck in a bleak situation that appears hopeless (e.g. violent crime, drugs, harassment by the police, and so forth).
Braveheart: England has taken Scotland for itself, attempting to suppress the natives through harsh and unjust laws. The Scots fight for what is rightfully theirs.

If you think of Purpose as already existing within the Class/Domain, well it’s clearly implied and even spelled out already in those two illustrations. “Everyone in the hood is stuck in a bleak situation that appears hopeless” implies the Purpose that a) they want to improve their bleak situation and b) they want hope. “England has taken Scotland for itself, attempting to suppress the natives… The Scots fight for what is rightfully theirs.” England’s Purpose within that Situation is clearly to have Scotland and keep the natives in check; The Scots Purpose is to have what’s rightfully yours.



I like it.

Yeah, I feel like we’re seeing it the same way here.

The example that Mike gave that best works for me is this one.

I think this one works best because it gives us an intended result-that is, to change peoples minds. With that we can see that everything in the story would be geared toward an ending where people’s minds are changed.

Take his other Dirty Dancing example below.

The first part sounds like it’s going to work because bringing together groups of people from different social classes has a feel of intention behind it depending on how it’s used. If the story’s intention is to take people that aren’t together and bring them together, then there’s an intended result. But if the story starts out with these different groups already in the same place, then it doesn’t make sense for the story to bring them together because the author has already done that.

Also, I think an authors purpose in writing a story can be to ‘see how that boils out’ because seeing how it ends, in that case, just IS the authors intended result. The authors, but not the story’s. Or worded another way, knowing how it boiled out is the authors intention. But I don’t like it as a story’s purpose unless it’s in a very specific context.

Let’s say we have a story about a dancing tournament and the story shows us Bob treating this as a Physics problem with an intention to win. In this case, we know why Bob is treating the problem as a problem of Physics. He believes that is how he will reach the intended result of winning. And by showing us whether Physics leads to winning or not, the story is able to present us with a message about the value of approaching this problem as a physics problem. That message is that one will or will not achieve ones purpose.

Now imagine the story shows us Bob treating it as a Physics problem just to see how it boils out. From the story’s perspective, there is no intention for Bob to win or lose. Therefore the story is not arguing the value of treating the problem as Physics as it relates to winning or losing. In fact, without an intended result, I’d argue that the story hasnt yet chosen how to see the problem and thus can’t tell us anything about how to solve a problem or which way is best. This is what I think I’ve seen @jhull refer to as an experiential(?) film, meaning that rather than receive an argument, the audience will just receive an experience.

But if the story’s intended result is specifically to see how something plays out, then it is arguing that Bob treating the problem as Physics will or will not achieve ‘seeing how it works out’. As an example, maybe treating the problem as Physics leads Bob to a sprained ankle and he is not able to achieve “seeing how it works out” because he’s not at the tournament. But maybe by switching the ICs worldview, he is able to change his psychology and realize that he can also enjoy dance by watching others dance. With this revelation, he attends the show as an audience member and is able to ‘see how it works out’.

Hopefully that all makes sense and doesn’t make it more confusing. In Dramatica terms, I think a Purpose should be Deductive (specific) rather than Inductive (general).


I’m not disagreeing with your assessment. I think an after-the-story analysis probably will have that Purpose spelled out most times. But don’t assume that an illustration for a Class will automatically imply a Purpose. For instance, being stuck in a bleak situation could have a purpose of getting out of the situation, surviving the situation, changing the situation for the better or worse, or just continuing the situation. Just depends on the story.



Together the two examples you’re giving thumbs up to from Mike’s and mine I think answer my question - that whether the Purpose at the Class level is seen as endowed in the characters’s Purposes, or seen as the Author’s Intention in writing the story (or even as the Story or Storyform’s Purpose) all amounts to the same thing - what’s the direction the characters/story/author are aiming for?

If that’s where you’re heading, unless anyone else wants more clarification, I’m good with you moving on to Goal/Methodologies!


Yes. And I think maybe there’s still some questions about how Purpose can work, but I think we’ve got a good start on grasping how Purpose is different from the illustration and, hopefully, different from goal (@lakis?). I’ve been thinking about how to move to Methodology and I’m probably going to talk just a bit more about direction and how to pull direction down into Methodology. It’ll be sometime this evening or tomorrow before I get a chance to make a good post about it. Can’t wait to see how we can use Methodology to drive a story!


No, I didn’t mean it’s automatic at all. Often it seems to me the DQS examples (written without the benefit of the next 30 years or so of development) are really just a list of examples of the story appreciation, like these examples of Doing:

El Mariachi: Moco and Azul wage their war, and in a case of mistaken identity, El Mariachi is inadvertently a part of it.

I Love Lucy: Lucy endeavors to tell Ricky the news of her pregnancy; Ricky manages a nightclub; the band rehearses for the evening’s show; and so forth.

We can infer Moco and Azul’s Purpose but El Mariachi’s Purpose could be anything. We learn about Lucy’s Purpose, but Ricky and the band’s Purpose could be anything.

I think Purpose may most easily be seen as part of a Class illustration when conflict is expressed as part of the illustration in a :muscle: “and this is a problem how?” kind of way, such as:

The Godfather: The problem which involves all of the objective characters has to do with the activities of the feuding New York families. The Objective Story involves the disruption of the power structure among these families, and the search to establish a new “Godfather” who can sort it all out.

(let me add to that that I think that kind of Purpose CAN be written into the story being developed while in process, but yes, would likely be rewritten several times along the way as the story ideas come together)

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Just a quick note on this post, I typed much of it before anyone had replied to my first post, when I wasn’t sure anyone else would even pay any attention to it. But we’ve already covered some of it, so apologies if it addresses something as though we haven’t already covered it, but it was easier not to rewrite it, so…

I think direction In its own right carries some importance in the story. A lot like the example of a slap followed by a scream meaning something different than a scream followed by a slap, me slapping you is a different path and has a different meaning than you slapping me. The direction that a slap moves can change the story. So as we move into Methodology, I think we need look at how direction plays a part.

Concern Set A
Understanding-understanding the riddle
Learning-learning about a map
Obtaining-obtaining the key to the chest
Doing-following the clues

Concern Set B
Understanding-understanding why the pirates picked their village
Learning-learning what the pirates are after
Obtaining-kidnapping the cabin boy
Doing-attacking the ship

Which set of the above Concerns goes with the Purpose of pirates finding the treasure, and which goes with villagers stopping the pirates from hurting others?

It’s a trick question. Either set can go with either purpose. Having a Purpose of the pirates finding the treasure doesn’t force the Methodology to be specifically about methods related to treasure hunting and doesn’t prevent the Methodology from being related to villagers who are trying to stop them.

And having a purpose of stopping the pirates doesn’t force one or prevent the other. You can have a purpose of the pirates finding the treasure and dealing with the villagers attempts to stop them rather than the actual treasure hunt. Or you could have a purpose of stopping the pirates from destroying the town by methods dealing directly with their treasure hunt.

When you carry your Purpose down to Methodology, you are not limited in what storytelling you use. But I think what does happen is that you carry that direction that the purpose gives you down into the Methodology. Keeping this same direction within your Methodology keeps the story feeling nice and consistent.

For instance, I think, as expressed through the question presented above, that it’s easy to have a Class gist of “hunting for treasure” and assume that the Concern and Sign Posts need to all be about different parts of treasure hunting. And if we use gists that sound like other people than the pirates doing something other than hunting for treasure, the story will feel off or weird, like two different stories.

But if we already know that the Purpose of the story is for the pirates to find the treasure, then we know that having a Methodology that looks like villagers fighting against the pirates means that the actual hunt for treasure won’t feel like the focus of the story and the story will instead focus on the pirates fight against villagers during their hunt for treasure. Or conversely, we could have a purpose of villagers stopping the pirates hunt for treasure by focusing Methodology not on fighting back against the pirates, but on the pirates hunt for the treasure. It’s all about making sure the Methodology, however seemingly unrelated the storytelling is to the Purpose’s storytelling, still points directly at the Purpose.

If we mix and match, then, we have 4 possible stories so far.

  1. Purpose 1-pirates hunt for treasure and Concern Set A-dealing with the hunt. This story focuses on the pirates as they try to get to the treasure through methods relating to treasure hunting.
  2. Purpose 1-pirates hunt for treasure and Concern Set B-the villagers try to fight against the pirates. This story focuses on the pirates as they try to get to the treasure through methods of cutting through a village that’s fighting back.
  3. Purpose 2- stopping the pirates and Concern Set A-dealing with the hunt. This story focuses on the villagers and how they try to stop the pirates by methods of messing with the pirates hunt for treasure (maybe they try to keep the pirates from understanding the riddle or feeding them false information about a map).
  4. Purpose 2- stopping the pirates and Concern Set B-the villagers try to fight against the pirates. This story focuses on the villagers as they try to stop the pirates by methods of fighting back against the pirates that are cutting through their town.

So 2 purposes and 2 sets of Concerns and we have 4 different paths the story might take. Some stories focus on the pirates and direct the pirates toward either treasure hunting or dealing with the village. The other stories focus on the villagers and direct them toward either their own efforts to stop the pirates or on their efforts to address the pirate hunt.

And of course those four stories could still be told in countless ways. But that’s not the point. The point is that by setting the Purpose, we free ourselves up to explore Methodology in limitless ways and still know exactly how to use them to tell a story that makes sense because it has direction and to have the confidence that the direction we choose for our stories will be able to carry through even the wackiest of illustration combos.

So if Purpose gives us a direction, then I guess Methodology gives us a path. Deciding where we’re going (Purpose) doesn’t mean we’ve decided how to get there. If you want to get from New York to Los Angeles, sure you could hop a plane and fly west for 4000 miles. But you could also fly East for 21000 miles. Or drive, or hitchhike, or dig.

So how does that help us to either analyze or write a story? Let’s say you have a scene you think is maybe about Obtaining. Ask yourself if this example of Obtaining points toward the stories Physics Purpose or not. Of course there’s room for error here depending on how the story is told, but I think there’s a really good chance that in most cases, if you can’t see how Obtaining points to Purpose, then one of them isn’t right.

So does that still track?

With the four options I’ve got so far, I think I like the Purpose of having the pirates find the treasure and the methodology of dealing with the villagers. In addition to that, I think this story would be best served
by focusing on the villagers. This will put the audience in the villagers shoes and probably make them feel like the villagers are ‘the good guys’. That’s fine. It’ll be like Captain America: Civil War where the purpose of the OS is for Zemo (was that his name?) to break up the Avengers but the story focuses on the Avengers and not on Zemo. So somehow we’ll focus on the villagers as the pirates implement dealing with the villagers in order to find treasure.

Looking at the the set of Concerns I’ve already listed (Concern Set B), I think I’ll use ‘Obtaining the cabin boy’ as the Concern just because it seems like it will be a challenge to come up with how that can be a Method the story uses to achieve having the pirates find treasure.

So I think what that will look like is we’ll have a group of pirates, and it will be the stories Purpose for them to find the treasure. While searching for the treasure, there will be a group of villagers who dont want the pirates burning down their village. If the goal is for the villagers to kidnap the crew’s cabin boy, then, at least as far as the storytelling is concerned, that should be in service of helping the pirates to find treasure rather than in service of an attempt to prevent them finding a treasure.

It seems like it would be easiest to say that preventing the Cabin Boy from being kidnapped would be the path the story takes to achieve the pirates finding treasure. And since that seems easiest, let’s…absolutely avoid it this time.

Instead, let’s say that the story wants the Cabin Boy to be kidnapped because that’s how the story plans on achieving its Purpose. I don’t know how it plans to do that, yet, though. The story could be about villagers kidnapping the pirates’ cabin boy, but I don’t know how accomplishing that Goal would achieve the pirates finding the treasure. The story could be about the pirates having kidnapped a cabin boy from the village, I can only see how accomplishing the Goal would achieve the Purpose if they were able to pull information about the treasure from the Cabin Boy. But it seems like that the act of getting information from the cabin boy would be what achieved the Purpose, and that would be Learning, not Obtaining.

So it seems the challenge at the moment is to describe how Obtaining the cabin boy will itself be what leads to the pirates finding the treasure. I have no ideas at the moment, so I’ll have to go work on that for a while. In the meantime, if anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

Okay, so I found “obtaining the cabin boy” to be a difficult illustration to show how Methodology gets to Purpose because, as I mentioned before, to achieve the Purpose the pirates would have to extract information from the cabin boy and that makes it seem like a methodology of Learning. But then, I was perfectly willing to accept “obtaining the map” because of course getting the map will help to achieve the purpose of finding treasure, but information has to be extracted from the map as well. So I had to take my own advice here, and make sure I was separating Methodology from Purpose. Methodology is how one would go about achieving a Purpose, but of course one isn’t guaranteed to achieve that Purpose. So now I feel like, yes, kidnapping the cabin boy is just as easy to use here as getting the map.

This may be a bit convoluted as I try to work out the story. There will be time to change it. Anyway…

There’s a village somewhere along the coast of an island. One day a boy washes up in the tide and a family takes him in. Soon after, the village sees a pirate ship coming over the horizon and they get attacked. The pirates demand the boy be returned or the village will be destroyed. This boy, it turns out, was the only survivor when a storm tossed a ship carrying great wealth onto a deserted island. Since he’s the only one who knows where the island is, the pirates must get him back (he washes up on shore after jumping off the pirate ship-they already kidnapped him once and forced him to act as cabin boy) in order to find the treasure.

So Obtaining the cabin boy has the village getting attacked, has the pirates chasing after the boy, and keeps the pirates from getting to the treasure, and obtaining the boy is the method by which the pirates hope to achieve finding the treasure.

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