Driver event for the other 3 throughlines

Hi, if my overall story has a decision driver, does that mean that decisions will also drive the other 3 throughlines as they progress from one signpost to the next? I assume the answer is yes, and if the OS had an action driver then actions would drive the other 3 throughlines, but I’ve not seen this discussed anywhere?

The reason you haven’t seen this discussed other places is because the Driver is not just for the OS, it’s for the entire story taken as a whole. In an ideal movie, the drivers will simultaneously move all four throughlines from one act to the next.

Of course, this isn’t generally possible. And there are usually more than just the five primary drivers anyway.

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Thanks Mike! That helps a lot.


Just for posterity, what are those five drivers?


Denial, Bargaining, Depression, Anger, Acceptance.

Okay, not really. They are the events or decisions that:

  • Begin the story
  • Transition from Act 1 to Act 2
  • Transition from Act 2 to Act 3
  • Transition from Act 3 to Act 4
  • End the Story
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So, the markers for grief processing? Interesting.

I think he was being facetious. Also, we might need to call the ref in on this one … I’m pretty sure Drivers are OS only related (As it is a Story Dynamic – like Optionlock and Outcome). @chuntley , what say ye?

I think they are related to the OS in the same way that the Judgement is related to the MC, as in, that is usually how the author chooses to express things.

They define a landscape that the whole story operates in, not just the OS. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t see Action drivers being so confounding to Be-er characters or Decision drivers muddling up Do-ers so much. But there is palpable outcome when you do this kind of thing.

But the drivers must also be out of sync sometimes with their stories – if the OS wraps up before the MC throughline, isn’t it necessarily true that the last driver happens before the MC throughline is over? (Or is it just that the climax has come and gone before the MC throughline has been wrapped up?)

I haven’t thought through this example, so… let’s call it an open question: When Cole says “I see dead people” – this transitions all the storylines from one act to the next, doesn’t it? And if it doesn’t, then which throughline would you put it in?

Diane, I was being facetious. I know the theory is hard, but did you read the rest of the answer? If the first sentence outweighed everything else in the answer, you should go back and read the book again. Something about the theory isn’t landing right for you.

Oh, lovely. Cuz facetiousness is such a great teaching tool. :unamused:

I’ll try and remember to read your advice with a grain of salt.

There are lots of things that don’t click for me in the theory. I would say I am not alone in that.

I followed up my comment immediately with “Okay, not really.” I’m sorry if this wasn’t enough for you to see that the comment was not genuine.

And then I listed the usual place for all the drivers and their function.

There are lots of things in the theory that are difficult. It has a crazy steep learning curve. To that end, I’m sorry that I didn’t take your question seriously.