About the Story Design category

Develop Topics, Issues, Resolutions and Moral Arguments to be used in Story Jams. In particular, use these elements to craft novel Story Messages.

This is a public forum visible to THE WORLD. If you are working on something proprietary for the SEAM Studio or for your own (private) project then do not post it here. SEAM Studio IP should go into the Studio Members Area.

We can use this forum as a repository of research to gather ideas, debates, and links to reference materials to make our Story Jams more effective by giving participants a good foundation for critical reasoning during their Jams.
Please bear in mind the following when you contribute to this library:

  • if someone else has said it better elsewhere then link to it.

  • bring something new to the conversation; try not to repeat old tropes and cliches.

  • do you see a pattern or insight across domains? If so, interlink the research that led you to your discovery.

Here is how we should apply tags:

topic: a word or phrase that initiates discussion; replies flesh topic out further;
issue: a though-provoking question (as a pre-cursor to the dramatic question); replies are variations;
resolution: a provocative, divisive and emphatic statement; replies are variations;
premise: aphorism, idiom, received wisdom; replies are variations;
moral argument: result of a debate; uses the couplet form (see below); replies are variations;
story message: headline followed by summary; replies are variations;

Moral Argument format:

[some moral vice] leads to [some physical detriment]; but
[some moral virtue] leads to [some physical betterment].

Topics, Issues, Resolutions, Premises, Moral Arguments and Story Messages are proto-pitch materials in that they precede the pitch process because they exist irrespective of narrative and can be used many times over in lots of different projects due to their universal nature. Think of them as building blocks, like LEGO, that can be used to assemble a Pitch and not as proprietary to any particular storytelling project.

Story Messages are the most important part of the Story Design process because they give the narrative meaning. They confirm, deny or contradict the Premise. Consequently, they are most impactful when they shed new light on something that we take for granted.

For more information on Story Design, check out the book.

To see our Story Jam Jamcasts, go here.