Illustrating the Children

When it comes to illustrating the broken-down, or children, Storybeats of a parent Storybeat, writers can benefit from taking and outside-in approach that honors the meaning of a Storybeat over the linear progression of beats that appear within.

The Dramatic Circuit Analogy

Think of each Transit or Progression as a dramatic circuit, such that the energy of the narrative flows in through the first child Storybeat and then exits out that circuit through the last Storybeat. The middle two Storybeats simply process, or work through, the narrative energy as it transmutates from beginning to end.

You might have heard this referred to as "turning a scene" elsewhere, or you might know this as the concept of "negative" and "positive" scenes, such that one enters a scene with a positive charge, and then leaves with a negative charge (or vice versa).

The reason others have picked up on this in the past is that, for the most part, the first and last Storybeat of a Progression or Transit are typically polar opposites of a Dynamic Pair. When viewed within the context of the Dramatica quad, energy arrives into the scene in the upper left quadrant, and then exits out through the bottom quadrant.

The Outside-In Approach

When illustrating a Transit or Progression, consider these first and last Storybeats first, and then proceed inward to address the other two. In this way, the writer ensures a consistency of thematic integrity towards the parent Storybeat (either Transit or Progression).