Connecting Elements to the Issue

Hey everyone,

Apologise if this has been discussed before, but I couldn’t find anything on it.

I’m currently working on a project that has a OS Issue of Circumstances and a MC issue of Destiny – both with Self Aware as Problem element. I’ve been working on how the drive of Self awareness causes problems for the main character, however, it feels like drive (or at leasr my examples) relate more to circumstances than destiny. So my question is, when you are working out how your problem element relates to your main character’s perspective, should you have the issue at the back of your mind. I.e should the drive of self awareness relate to destiny in some way – or does it not matter?

Honestly the best way I can think of to tackle these sorts of story points is to put them in the truism vs truism formation

So for self-aware…(nipping over to narrative first for a couple of contradictory illustrations)
I like:
Practicing self-care vs thinking little of oneself


A character needs/wants/should/can
practice self care in order to live up to their destiny
A character shouldn’t think of themselves so they can always put the needs of others first.

That type of thing would cover what you’re looking for…I think.

The question then becomes, what works? Taking care of yourself so you can be ready when destiny comes to call? OR Effacing yourself to serve the needs of other bringing about your destiny.


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What was the MC dealing with before this OS?
What about the MC’s past was problematic before this OS?

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This is really helpful. Thank you. Good technique.

I’m not sure if his past was problematic as such - he is just trying to hide his past.

The storyform carries the meaning, so your storytelling doesn’t need to make it explicit if you don’t want it to.

The Element quads are tiny fractals of the larger quads. Aware, Projection, Speculation, Self-Aware is just Fate, Prediction, Interdiction, Destiny repeated at a smaller scale. They are also the versions of that larger scale that you would find attached to the Destiny arm of the larger scale of the fractal. But the reason all of the fractals do not look exactly the same (that is, not every quad is simply labeled as Knowledge, Thought, Ability, Desire) is because the model accounts for the relative position of each repetition of the fractal within the system. All that means is that if you look at Self-Aware in isolation, it could look like it was connected to Destiny, or Circumstances, or Evidence, or Senses. But when explored in conjunction with Aware, Projection, Speculation, you will be able to map Self-Aware to Destiny. And that’s how the storyform makes the connection so that the storytelling doesn’t have to.


Perfect. Great answer. It’s the four elements together that link it to issue - understanding now. That’s definitely put some concerns to bed.

I would say you absolutely have to have the issue at the back of your mind—but don’t worry about that until the second draft. So much gets worked out in the execution of a draft that you can’t plan ahead for.

Many people see the trip to more and more detail as a way to hone in on the details. But this doesn’t need to be the case. As Greg said, it will take care of itself.

If you listen to the podcasts we do in December, you’ll see how little effort we put into making sure it’s all tied together. By filling in the storyforms out of order, it prevents us from tying it all together.

The end results can end up being kind of silly, but I think that’s unrelated to how well the storyform would work were we to actually write the stories we’re building together.

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