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In search of closed actions

Do some actions close a story?

David Gane
David Gane
1 min read

This post is an open inquiry into something I’ve been working on.

At the heart of WOARO are action and response.

A character takes action, and the world responds. We can also flip this: the world takes action, and the character responds. Action and response are two sides of the same coin.

These stimuli can come from external sources like society or the environment and internal ones like thoughts, feelings, or memories.

Our character’s responses are often reactive—fight or flight—which leads to further actions and responses. They continue to open the story up.

But some actions don’t lead to the same response, such as acquiesce, hear, and receive.

These have the potential to close story loops and alter your story’s conflict.

So my three questions are:

  1. Are there other examples of actions that close loops?
  2. Can the story continue when you use these actions or does it completely close the story?
  3. Are there story examples that use these actions in an extended way?

David Gane Twitter

Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.


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