You may have seen some variation on this statement before:
This idea means you can only pick two options for any product or service. You can't have all three.
Some people will argue that it is built on fallacies or that you can have all three, but let's use this paradigm for creating your theme.
Using this model, what values are your characters wrestling with?
Perhaps you have a character who wants excellence, happiness, and success. But you refuse to let them have it all.
With this model as a guide, you could create a story that pushes your character to each extreme. How do they win, and how do they lose?
Perhaps the character has excellence and happiness but wants success. In their pursuit of success, they lose happiness. How do they respond? What do they do? Do they sacrifice excellence for success? Or do they return to their original status quo?
And, to be contrarian, is there a balance between all three somewhere near the center? Can they get there? And what must they do to achieve it?
Each of these models—the Griemas Square, the XY grid, and now the triangle—are all ways to visualize the abstract and explore it within your story. They are all options for you to test and find what works.
Can you suggest any tools for building the theme that you use? Please put them in the comments below.
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