Jassnip MC Throughline Exercise Sept 2018

Okay here’s mine.

Signpost 1: having a sudden idea: Character X is an empath and conceives/feels the inner needs and desires of others to be noble and honorable. She trusts these feelings, but again and again people lie to he, steal from her and take advantage of her.

Signpost 2: Pretending to be blind Character C(ontagonist, maybe?) asks her to be his blind gf at an event and let him know if she feels anything hinky. She agrees reluctantly, leading to the two getting kidnapped.

Signpost 3: Planning to escape: Developing a plan to escape character x helps each of the guards, reinforcing to them that she expects nothing in return only that they be who they truly are. Each one betrays her landing with her in front of a firing squad.

Signpost 4: Being changed by someone: The guards fake her death and smuggle her out of the the compound. The last in the chain telling her to never change.

So? How’d I do? Do these work? Fall short?


This Sign Post does a great job of showing how thinking others are noble is problematic. But it reads to me more like the idea that others are noble is what’s causing problems for X rather than the process of conceiving this. I could be wrong, but that’s just how I’m reading it. If you roll it back to something like ‘Having sudden ideas about others leads to X being taken advantage of’, I think the emphasis is placed back on the process of having those ideas as the source of inequity. And then you can show how others take advantage of that process rather than taking advantage of a specific idea about them. Something like, ‘Seeing that X has made a snap judgment about his intentions (that he is noble), C uses the opportunity to take advantage of her’. This way, I think it would show how she thinks (having sudden ideas and trusting them to be accurate) to be the problem rather than what she thinks (a firm belief about others being noble) to be the problem. I think that was probably what you were going for anyway, but I wasn’t sure.

In my opinion, this one works the best if the process of pretending to be blind directly leads to being kidnapped.

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Like Greg I’m having a bit of trouble seeing this one as Conceiving. Feelings aren’t conceiving… But I think you maybe just missed communicating one little piece…

I think it’s like, most empaths can read people’s emotions at face value, but X is special in that her conception of those emotions/needs/desires is different – she always sees the nobility in them. So maybe the conflict in the context of Signpost 1 is that she has a misconception (though being steadfast, holding onto this misconception eventually proves her right).

On Signpost 2 I agree with Greg, you need to show how the pretending itself leads to problems. (I don’t think you did anything wrong, you just didn’t connect the pretending with the getting kidnapped. Maybe they get kidnapped because she’s too good at pretending, or because she makes a mistake at it, etc.)

Signpost 3 I had trouble seeing at first, but I think it works well … and I think your MC may be holistic which is why I had trouble with it! (Developing a plan holistically is a lot different from doing it in linear fashion… ;))

Signpost 4 is great, the guards changing their ways to help her, and telling her never to change.

@jassnip, I don’t know if you’ve moved on from SP1 of conceiving, but I wanted to take a stab at it because conceiving is pretty tough for me too. Why? Because conceiving feels so abstract to me.

So, if you don’t mind, I’ll use a different example and use the @Greg “and this is a problem because…” method:

A famous artist exhibits his conception of how the city could look a hundred years from now and this is a problem because it puts to shame the bureaucratic city planning officials who have already invested taxpayer money in boring looking buildings and makes the public aware of what really is possible. As a result, the people start demanding better.

Or is it more along the lines of…

A famous artist conceives of an innovative city scheme and this is a problem because city planning officials, who have already invested taxpayer money, cannot let this information get out to the public so they jail him under the pretense of being a Russian spy (lol! - just had to throw that in).

Whoa, whoa, whoa, that’s a JHull method right there (anybody remember this? :muscle:). I only got there after a lot of trouble dealing with what it meant to “make something a problem”.


Ok then…I can call it the Hull problem method :slight_smile:

I have some trouble with Conceiving, too. Here’s how I look at it. If it is what has been conceived that is a problem, it kind of starts looking more like a Mind Problem. Like if a character “conceives” of the towns need for a giant mall and that’s it, then that’s more of a fixed attitude that “this town needs a giant mall”. So you have to really find a way to focus on the process of it rather than the end state.

Yes, exactly @Greg - focus on the process…agreed.

So, lets say our famous artist is a billionaire who conceives a new city layout and begins the project and that becomes a problem for the city planners who try to stop him so he retaliates with his own schemes against the planners - thus giving the throughline a Manipulation Domain?

I’d say something like, when a famous artist gets the idea to use the city as the canvas for his next project, the city planners start bickering. That way, it’s just having the idea to do something with the city that is the problem.

My first thought with your example was that it read as though the artist beginning the project was the problem, which I’d think would make it more of a Physics issue. But I think it could be shown that the artist getting the idea that he can do what he wants to the city could work as the Conceiving that has created conflict. Like maybe the city planners would say, “it’s not a problem that you built the buildings. They’re awesome. The problem is that you didn’t think to ask us first.”

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Yes, I see the Conceiving far more clearly now than with my encoding. The idea sets up the problems.

I suppose the problems could be compounded later in the story if or when the artist acts upon his idea.

Thanks @Greg.