Choosing the right concerns

Usually I find it hard to choose the right concerns when writing a story (same with the throughlines from time to time). So I try to brainstorm the “feel” of this story to see which quad of concerns would be better for what I intend to create. If it can be of use, or if you want to put your opinion out there… Here goes !

Past - Understanding - Conceptualizing - Memory : stories about burdens. Guilt and obsession, finding relief and moving on or getting consummed by one’s demons. Skeletons in the closet ; shining the light on something from the past, figuring how things fit together, finding the truth or entertaining a lie.

Present - Learning - Conceiving - Conscious : stories about survival. Finding ways to get by or getting swallowed whole, abilities against limitations. Observing, deliberating, innovating and reinventing. Bettering or worsening current situations through action or inaction.

Progress - Doing - Being - Preconscious : stories about evolution. Moving forward, backward, or being plain stuck ; finding a new direction is enough (=/= price). Battling forth against others and oneself, action without rest, effectiveness over results, impulses. Having control, struggling to keep it or completely losing it.

Future - Obtaining - Becoming - Subconscious : stories about loss and gains. Tangible thing at the end of the road (=/= direction). Construction or destruction, opportunities to seize. Deep desires / fears and complete transformation of world and characters. Life-changing, inability to go back.

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Incredible collection!! Thanks for sharing.

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This is really awesome and I’d love to see more!

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This is fantastic. Extremely useful!

Bookmarked!

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You have to keep going with this.

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My cynical guide:
Past, etc - Every supernatural horror movie (or movie about unresolved grief).
Present, etc - Every movie that wins awards from the 1950s or 2000s.
Progress, etc - Every movie with a boy, man-child, or competition on the poster.
Future, etc - Every movie that makes money.

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oh go back to climbing that building.

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Wow, this is amazing! I’ll be coming back to this post often.

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Wow this is great! Thanks Rachel.

Here is a list I made a while back of how the concern quadrants “feel”. Not sure how much of this feeling is personal and would differ between people, so YMMV.

  • Bottom-left: “powerful”
  • Bottom-right: “golden” / “inner light”
  • Top-right: “light-hearted” / “playful” (I’m still working on this)
  • Top-left: “heavy”

Does anyone else have a way to describe these commonalities of feeling? They’re almost like a colour you can see in your mind when you think of the story.

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•	Bottom-left:  BASIC
•	Bottom-right:  IN SYNC
•	Top-right: WARM FUZZY
•	Top-left:  BAGGAGE
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@mlucas and @Prish You started making me question my (pretty dark) top-right story with your “light-hearted/playful/warm fuzzy” metaphors but then I realized that Silence of the Lambs is a top-right story – am I misunderstanding which quad is where? (Or am I just reading into it too much?)

That’s a beautiful way of saying it. I definitely think of it as though the story is tinted a certain way. I think they’re probably different for everyone, too. For me:

Obtaining, etc.: I struggle to describe this one. I have a clear feeling for it, but I can’t think of a word that fits.
Doing, etc.: bubbly (this one always has an indie movie vibe to it in my brain)
Learning, etc.: cerebral
Understanding, etc.: reflective

Worth noting, I don’t write much drama. I stay in the lighter end of things, so mostly work with the obtaining/doing areas. Didn’t think about that until now. Interesting.

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Definitely! Consider this improv…no science just fun flow.

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No, I was finding the top-right the hardest to pin down in words and still working at it. I was trying to find a commonality of feeling between Star Wars, Breaking Away, Iron Giant and Being John Malkovich. Didn’t consider Silence of the Lambs, it’s been a super long time since I saw that. Maybe there is some playful vibe in how it treats such a dark subject? Don’t recall that though.

I agree with Prish though, these are only generalities, and maybe don’t fit so well in every case.

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Hm, interesting - there is something playfully twisted maybe in the way Lecter and Clarisse interact in that movie. A dark comic vibe. But anyway it’s s weird one because it’s an OS Universe story.

“Past - Understanding - Conceptualizing - Memory : stories about burdens. Guilt and obsession, finding relief and moving on or getting consummed by one’s demons. Skeletons in the closet ; shining the light on something from the past, figuring how things fit together, finding the truth or entertaining a lie.”

Rachel, please, p!ease me, yeah, and post some more! For a fledgling like me, this is priceless help. I’m a kinesthetic too, so diagrams and visual aides added is a bonus. Thanx. Emm.

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“moving on” would that be “Undersatanding?” and if so, would this apply to a character trying to overcome a dependancy?

“Moving on” would be in regards to something that happened before - the death of a loved one, a mistake creating guilt… Which, for a MC, would be a concern of the Past usually. Take Cobb from Inception, for example.

A character overcoming a dependancy would probably be in Psychology (the change in attitude and psychological damage), in Mind (being stuck in the same old habit/pattern) or even Universe (being physically dependant on something, although I doubt it was your intent). It would be harder to fit into Physics.

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Thank you Rachel! So, then, if the OS were one of dependency (where all of the characters are trying to either feed a dependency or overcome one) would that, then, make the OS Domain one of Psychology?

Thank you Rachel! So, then, if the OS were one of dependency (where all of
the characters are trying to either feed a dependency or overcome one)
would that, then, make the OS Domain one of Psychology?