Okay, so while @hunter has been addressing how it’s possible to construct a story in which all four throughlines have completely unconnected players, I’ve been thinking about how to effectively weave the different throughlines together form a single plot, assuming you want to do that. After all, while it’s not structurally necessary, this is what most stories do.
The problem I often have is connecting the story events in a way that maintains the different throughlines but creates a seamless subjective experience of “one thing leading to another.”
I recently had an insight on a possible way to think about this when contemplating @greg’s approach to identifying and/or encoding story points in which you separate the conflict (process) from the source of conflict (the story point). I think this is just another way looking at @jhull’s approach, which is to encode the story point and then ask the question “how is this a problem?” and then illustrating that problem/conflict.
This is probably obvious, but I realized that if you you can illustrate the conflict/problem as the “source of conflict” for the next story point, you can create a naturally escalating progression of plot.
So for example, using the Plot Sequence Report you can use:
OS Signpost 1, Scene 1: Conceptualizing as it relates to Instinct:
OS Signpost 1, Scene 2: Conceptualizing as it relates to Senses:
OS Signpost 1, Scene 3: Conceptualizing as it relates to Interpretation:
OS Signpost 1, Scene 4: Conceptualizing as it relates to Conditioning:
to create a story like this:
After a strange conversation, a teenage girl’s mother gets an uneasy feeling (Instinct) about what’s happening with her daughter, so she follows and spies on her (Instinct to Senses). When the mother sees the daughter talking to known drug dealer, the mother misinterprets the exchange (Senses to Interpretation). Convinced that her daughter is going down a bad path, she presents the case to her husband and argues that they should send the daughter to reform school to protect her (Interpretation to Conditioning).
I think this works.
But my next question is, can you follow the same process to switch to a different throughline while keeping the same plot progression?
So in this example:
The daughter overhears this conversation about the plan (OS Conceptualizing) to send her to reform school and decides to run away with her boyfriend (the IC) (RS Obtaining) which causes them to grow more bonded to one another.
But is that a legitimate way to even talk about it? Does it make any sense to say an event in one throughline “causes” an event in another throughline? Would it be more accurate to say that it “sets up” the conflict in the other throughline?
And overall, is this a legitimate approach to storyweaving?