The Zen of Story Structure: Action

All stories have both Action and Decision, however one will take precedence over the other. Traditionally, one might define an Action story as having more Action or more intense Action than a Decision story. This view is overly influenced by how the story is told rather than what it represents. More accurately, either Actions force the need for Decisions or Decisions force the need for Actions in order to advance the plot.

Over the course of the story as a whole, if Actions precipitate the progression of the plot, it is an Action story. The question to ask in regard to any particular story is which comes first to move the story along?–not which is there more of, for even if Action kicks things off, a small Action may be followed by great quantities of deliberation.

In such a story, although Action is the Driver, one would hardly call it an Action story in the traditional sense. Action stories will begin with an Action, be marked at the beginning and end of every Act by an Action, and will end with a climactic Action. In an Action story, the story will eventually slow and dwindle until another Action occurrs.

Excerpted from
Dramatica Story Development Software

This entry was posted in Zen of Story Structure. Bookmark the permalink.