Does a PSR variation such as falsehood have to be identified within the signpost?

My PSR has “Playing a Role” as the MC’s 1 Signpost. The fourth variation is “Falsehood.” One of my characters lies to another about something significant. Does the reader have to know in the first signpost that it is a lie or is it fine enough for them to learn in hindsight?

Definitely fine to learn in hindsight – in fact ANY part of your storyform can be appreciated later.

For example, MC Signpost 1, or even all the throughlines’ Signpost 1s, could be related in dialogue or flashbacks during the final act. (What matters is that the events of Signpost 1 occurred before the events of Signpost 2 within the story’s internal timeline.)


@mlucas Does it mean the author is free to reveal the information when ever he wants? If so, does this mean the PSR gives you „only“ a cause-effect structure how it comes from A to B, but you as Author are free whenever you want to bring it? Even never?

The PSR is optional to use – it goes down to a level of detail that’s further than necessary for the Audience to appreciate your story’s argument. So in that sense, “never” is okay for the PSR items.

For other story points, you just need to reveal them by the end of the story. (The only exception might be purposely leaving out something so that the Audience will fill it in with their own experiences, like was done with a Signpost in Moonlight. But that borders on propaganda so requires a careful touch.)


As long as at the end the Audience can tell the A-B order, you can weave it in any sequence you want.


I didn’t had this on my list, that this are two separate things:

The story form gives you the structure for your argument, but how you write your story it’s up to you.

Referring to an earlier post here…

Just to conclude, you might use the signpost for structuring your text, but if you do it in any other, as long it is clear how you get from A to B, every structure is fine?

It’s the difference between Storyforming and Storyweaving.

The Storyform gives you A - B - C - D

You Storyweave D - A - C - B (think Memento)

At the end of it all, the Audience can unweave the story and know that the internal logic was A - B - C - D.

If you don’t make clear that B came before C, then they might confuse the second half of your Storyweaved version with the truth and the internal and emotional progression of the argument will feel false and read as illogical.


I have another questions on the terminology regarding this: When I have a first idea, I usually develop a couple of main story points and story driver on a blank page and build the story form in parallel. When I have a first version done of the story outline I usually can finish the story form as well. Often at the same time but usually never before. What I don’t check during the first session is the plot progression.

According to our discussion above the process in Dramatica is

  1. Story forming
  2. Encoding
  3. Weaving

Where does my outline belong to?

I some times have problems to fit a specific story point, let’s say in act 2, with any of the second signpost. Is this first outline version considered as part of storyforming? Or does it make sense to do the outline after 2. or 3? Or is my approach faulty?

Thanks for the clarification, …

In the Armando Screenwriters book, he talks about how to go about hiding some of the throughlines/elements in order to reveal them later for a sense of surprise.