One interesting aspect of using storybeats (signposts or PSR beats) as Methods as @jhull describes in this article…
… is around the timing of those beats. We’ve all had it drilled into us that Dramatica story points are not just storytelling, they represent sources of conflict in the narrative. But, thinking of it only that way, you might sometimes present a storybeat with real conflict, that comes from the right element, yet have the conflict lag behind the “act of (element)-ing” as Jim describes in the article:
The Method portion of a Storypoint is the act of that semantic item. It’s a verb masquerading as a noun. Past is not what happened; it’s the act of Past. Actuality is not what is objectively going on; it’s the Act of Actuality.
… When you see Past in Dramatica, think the act of Past-ing; when you see Sense of Self translate that into the act of Sense of Self-ing.
For example, imagine your first PSR beat of your second OS signpost was Appraisal – an initial assessment. So then you decide that earlier in the story or even backstory, someone made a limited assessment of something, let’s say it was an inspection of a dam*. Now in Act 2 the fact that inspection was just an initial cursory one, comes back to bite everyone because the dam bursts*! Everyone runs!
Now, conflict arising from a limited assessment is perfect for Appraisal. BUT what if right here, in this part of the narrative we don’t see see the “act of Appraising” occurring, only a bunch of running away from the rising water? i.e. the conflict is coming from an act of Appraisal that occurred earlier in the story (or backstory)?
The obvious fix, of course, is to put some Appraisal-ing into this section of the story, maybe assessing which route will lead safely to high ground, or how many people are caught in harm’s way, that kind of thing. And make sure it is a source of conflict too. This seems so natural, in fact, that it’s hard to imagine the scene without it…
But my question is, is this absolutely necessary for the storybeat to implement the proper Method? Thinking of it this way, I 100% believe it is necessary – some “act” of the right element type has to occur at this part in the narrative. But I’d love to hear others’ opinions.
* with apologies and sympathy to Michigan residents right now