Seeking clarification on Requirements/Forewarnings for Failure Story and on UA & CF

In a failure story, are the requirements as emphasised as they would be in a Success story? If not, then is the emphasis for a Failure story on the forewarnings?

Onto a question of a Change/Failure/Good Story combination, in regards to the critical flaw and unique ability. The subject was touched upon by @jhull:

The story points within a storyform are related holistically with one another, so I’m sure in some respects, the Main Character Unique Ability impacts the Story Judgment of Good.


If it were me, I would say his Openness and willingness to put with whatever makes it possible for him to get closer and closer to the inheritance, but it is the fact that he can’t Deny his feelings for his brother that undermines that openness (and he can’t Deny the hurt from his father).]
(MC Unique Ability/Critical Flaw in a Failure Story)

So - in quite black and white terms - does the CF overtake the UA for a result of Failure, while the UA overcomes the CF to help lead the MC to his personal triumph (Good)?

(I’m praying for straight answers) :pray::innocent:

Yes on the first part – the CF overtakes the UA to help bring about the Failure in some way.
On the second part, I think it can be up to you as the Author on how the UA and CF relate to the Story Judgment. I had a Failure/Good story where the CF of Self Interest winning out over the UA not only brought about the Failure of the Goal, but was also a big part of the MC remaining true to herself, and thus the Judgment of Good. (But in another story perhaps the UA would be more related to the Judgment.)

Hmm. I think it’s up to the Author how much to emphasize these. In a Failure story you might want to show how the Requirements aren’t met, or aren’t met on time (which is the same thing objectively as not being met), etc.

Thank you, @mlucas.

Interesting spin on the Requirements. So, for Failure it could be that more Forewarning moments pop up or it could be that the Requirements in some manner are deficient/unmet or a combo thereof. Nice!!

How much various storypoints are emphasized in a given story is a story-telling concern, not a storyforming one. In other words, the storyform itself does not dictate how much emphasis should be placed on any of its storypoints, it only tells you what all the storypoints are. How much you emphasize the forewarnings or the requirements is up to you, regardless of whether the story is success or failure.

Obviously, emphasizing either the requirements or the forewarnings will have different effects on the story you’re telling, but it’s hard to predict exactly what those effects will be since emphasis is subjective. As a general rule, I would say that since the requirements are linked with the goal, and the forewarnings are linked with the story consequences, emphasizing the requirements centers the goal in the audience’s mind, while emphasizing the forewarnings center the consequences. In the first, you’re more focused on the potential reward of success, whereas in the latter, you’re more focused on the risks of failure.

Which you choose to emphasize will interact with the story outcome. If your audience spends the whole time fearing failure, only to succeed in the end, that’s a different experience then having them fearing failure . . . only to fail. What mood do you want to create with your story?

As for the other part of your question, in a change/failure story, this means that the MC employed their solution element. If the judgement is good, then evidently, you (as the author) view this change as a positive thing. Whether this change happened because of the CF/UA, it’s not set in stone (at least as far as I know).


I agree, @Audz, the emphasis of either the R’s or F’s or a combo thereof will be a matter for the story-telling, most certainly. It was just trying me to first nail down the :nut_and_bolt: basics. Then, application of that knowledge would demonstrate precisely what you explained here regarding the effect of the R’s & F’s in the story-telling, so thanks for the forewarning :wink:

And for the solution/crucial element for an MC in a Change/Failure/Good story, yep. I started looking into that too. From what I gather, it’s a characteristic trait of the MC that will help him reach his personal triumph.

Getting there, slowly but surely :mountain_bicyclist:

Gawd, I hope I got that right.

I dread my next story where it’s a steadfast character with success and good, and this whole exercise will be inverted and turned upside down!!! (She says, as she bites her nails).