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Using Reincorporation to Shape Your Story

Another tool for building your story.

David Gane
David Gane
1 min read

Not only is Keith Johnstone's use of reincorporation an excellent solution when you're stuck, but it also helps shape your story.

In his book Impro, he says that story can't be just a sequence of events. Those events must lead somewhere.

The trouble with such a sequence is that there's no place where it can stop, or rather, that I can stop anywhere; you are unconsciously waiting for another activity to start, not free association, but reincorporation.

For Johnstone, two processes are at play: Free association opens up your story, and reincorporation links elements together and completes the story.

Therefore, when building your story, consider these two questions:

  • Which characters, locations, props, dialogue, and events open up your story?
  • By revisiting these elements, how can it build out your story further?
  • Finally, can you reincorporate these elements to close out the various threads and find completion?

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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