MC Throughline Exercise Sept 2018

Okay…so I thought we’d do something a little different this time.

When people are learning a new skill or practicing a skill, it’s useful to take things down to a manageable size. For instance musicians play scales :notes: , artist do line drawings of circles triangles and lines :writing_hand:, actors do improv or memory exercises :clapper:, etc. So I thought it might be useful to try and build something simple with dramatica…not even a whole short story (unless, ya know, you wanted to) but just put together a complete throughline with appropriate conflict :muscle:

So I figured I’d pull just one throughline (in this case MC @actingpower 's request) give it a baseline of gists (a starting point for all of us) and each of us would then work out OUR version of the gist + conflict :muscle: and post it.

So decide by me randomly
MC Domain: Psychology/Manner of Thinking
Signpost 1: Conceiving an idea
Signpost 2: Being/Playing a role
Signpost 3: Developing a Plan
Signpost 4: Becoming/Changing One’s Nature

This order did lock a few things in the storyform and I thought it appropriate to tell you what those were. Activity for IC Throughline. Be-er for character approach and Steadfast for character resolve

Okay…now for the gistified versions of the signposts
Signpost 1: having a sudden idea
Signpost 2: Pretending to be blind
Signpost 3: Planning to escape
Signpost 4: Being changed by someone

So, the challenge for this month is to take these unconflicted gists and expand them, connect them and pimp them out with conflict and then show off your fully fleshed out MC Throughline.

Post your work in it’s own thread titled something like [YOURNAMEORHANDLE]'s MC Throughline Exercise 2018

Feedback: Tell the author whether you can see the conflict / inequities that they are going for or if you have a suggestion for how they could up the ante.

I hope this will be a useful exercise for everyone. I’m really looking forward to what everyone comes up with.


Have I made this too limiting by specifying the gists? Would it be better to say…any gists that fit the signposts?

I like the suggestions. On one hand, maybe everybody can just treat them as suggestions and use something else if they want.

On the other hand, since it’s just an exercise, why not stick with what’s there? This kind of exercise seems particularly helpful in that you can compare multiple conflicts to one gist to get a better overall idea of how to use it.

I’ll be using the suggestions and posting something, just not sure when I’ll do it.


Actually the gists were awesome. This exercise was really fun.

It’s hilarious, I thought this was supposed to be a short story (must’ve missed the part where you said it wasn’t), so I wasn’t planning to do it since the MC Throughline idea didn’t grab me as much as a random quad. But when I saw yours @jassnip I was like, “oh cool, we’re just doing illustrations / signpost encoding” so I considered it … And then looking at the gists of the throughline progression (signposts) the ideas jumped out at me in about 20 seconds.

Those gists, in the right order, can really work magic sometimes.


I had a lot of fun with this one. It was harder than I thought it would be. I don’t know that I’ve ever tried to put an MC in Psychology before and my attempts mostly felt more like OS story than MC. What I came up with is, hopefully, a decent example, but I’m not entirely happy with it. Pretty sure I’m going to run through it again for fun.

Also, @mlucas, I had my idea before I read yours, but mine and yours feel, to me at least, really similar. I don’t know if it’s the storytelling or the Sign Post order. @jassnip’s had a similar feel to it, too, I think, but maybe not as strong of a feeling of similarity to it. It’ll be fun to do this one again and see if I can purposely come up with something that doesn’t feel similar to the three that are currently out there.


I think we both had Linear MCs and @jassnip had Holistic, so that might be part of it.

Also, assuming there’s enough material in there to figure out the MC Concern, maybe ours would be the same Concern and @jassnip 's would be different. Hard to say though.


See an here I was thinking that the biggest difference was you both had failure bad endings and I had success good. :stuck_out_tongue:

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I actually saw mine as Good, and maybe Success (though with just an MC throughline you can’t really tell the Outcome). But to extrapolate, maybe it would be an OS about a family struggling to get along together, and something about the girl dying to save her sister makes them all get along after. (The sister’s IC Change would be somehow boiled into that too.)

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That’s probably a big part of it. I was going to go for something holistic when I started but decided not to worry about it and I agree my MC turned out more linear. And @jassnips MC feels holistic with her feelings about other people for sure. [quote=“jassnip, post:7, topic:2032”]
See an here I was thinking that the biggest difference was you both had failure bad
I have no idea what the outcome in my example would be, but it was definitely a judgment of bad. That’s where I saw mine differing. Mike’s MC seemed to have a judgment of Good.