The Objective Story Concern is the area in which all of the characters share a common concern. This might be a single item they are all concerned about, or it might be that each of them has a personal concern of this nature. For example, if the Objective Story Concern was the Type “Obtaining”, then all the characters would be concerned with Obtaining something. In such a story, everyone might be trying to Obtain the same thing, such as a buried treasure. In another story with an Objective Story Concern of Obtaining everyone might be trying to Obtain something different. The Protagonist might want to Obtain the treasure, but the Reason Character might want to Obtain a diploma. The nature of the Concern is shared, not necessarily the specific manifestation of it.
Later, in the Plot and Encoding sections, we will touch on how one can pull these different items of Obtaining together into the same story. In the example above, the Protagonist could be a treasure hunter wanting to Obtain the treasure. The Reason Character who wants to Obtain a diploma in archeology joins the Protagonist’s team because he seeks the quest for the treasure as the basis for his doctoral thesis. Tying items together in this manner is not a structural aspect of story, but one of storytelling, and is therefore beyond the scope of this section on The Elements of Structure.
Keep in mind that a Concern of Obtaining might also mean a Concern of getting rid of something. Whether one wants to Obtain or wants to stop Obtaining does not change the nature of the area of Concern. So, for this appreciation and all the following, remember to consider it as either meaning not enough of something or too much of something.