Inspired by Jim’s recent Genre kick, I’ve been looking at the differences between different throughline levels (Class, Concern, Issue, Problem) again. Not sure how many others look at the differences in each level vs just looking at everything as source of conflict, but as I continue to work on grasping the differences I become more and more surprised that there hasn’t already been more of an emphasis on this area.
Just to be clear on what I mean, I’m referring to how Class is the throughlines’ Genre/Purpose, Concern the Plot/Methodology, Issues the Theme/Evaluation, and Problem the Character/Motivation.
Knowing the differences and keeping them in mind seems like it would go a long way in aiding one while analyzing and perhaps writing as well. For instance, to steal from another thread (was it the one for Planes, Trains, and Automobiles?), let’s look at the process of being inconsiderate. I think in the other thread someone thought that it might be a Problem and someone thought it might be a Concern. Now say you were trying to write a story where being inconsiderate was a source of conflict, but you weren’t sure how to storyform it. Regardless of what Problem element ‘inconsiderate’ might or might not illustrate, wouldn’t it be helpful if you could look at how you think it might be used in the story and then be able to say ‘this character definitely is or is not driven to be as inconsiderate as she can(Problem)’ or ‘oh, being inconsiderate definitely is (or is not) a means the character is engaging in in order to fulfill a purpose (Concern)’?
@jhull, now that you’re on your Genre kick, do you also look at the other levels differently? I know you mentioned somewhere that it might be time to stop looking at everything as just source of conflict.
I think this might be the next area I delve into for my own sake so just hoping to start some conversation to make it a little easier and a little more exciting.