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Theme-Story Integration Part 8 - Game Theory And Public Relations

Theme-Story Integration

Part 8

 Game Theory And Public Relations 

One way to craft an immersive world into which to drop Characters is to take two elements of the "real" world, combine them, and let your blood boil until you're angry enough to ask a question your readers have not (yet) asked themselves.  

This process won't lead you directly to a "narrative hook" or the beginning of a Story, but it will begin to reveal the theme that is rooted in the guts of your being, and that will yield a narrative hook.

Mostly, when you start this process, you become utterly inarticulate -- you can't put a word or a name to what you're feeling, and have no idea why it disturbs you.

It is your own internal conflict arising to compel you to write your story - the magnum opus of a lifetime.

It is the theme of your life, and inside that theme lies the point which connects you to all other humans of your generation, particularly those younger, or those less experienced.

Vocabulary must be expanded to cope with the nascent thoughts that churn upwards disturbing your view of the world.  Sometimes just randomly reading a dictionary or encyclopedia like Wikipedia can bring the vocabulary, and thus the tools with which to think the thoughts that will define your story's theme, into sharp focus.

A story isn't a plot, and it takes both to create a novel. A story by itself might yield a vignette or series of them - a randomized tapestry of scenes, not connected by anything.

A story is all about how emotions churn, become powered, arise and command actions (often ill chosen decisions).  A story is the evolution of wisdom within an individual.

But to craft a novel from a Story, the writer must find a PLOT.

A plot is the sequence of actions the Character initiates that cause Events, which cause more events, until the consequences of the initial action splash back on the Character and trigger an epiphany.

The epiphany in an action novel happens at the 3/4 point in the book -- in a Romance, ordinarily the "that's my man!" epiphany happens at the 1/3 point -- and in other sorts of drama, that turning point is the 1/2 point.

Knowing which genre you are writing in will help you find the narrative hook, the opening line of page 1, and the Conflict you must define on  page 1 and resolve on the last page.

By placing the epiphany that redirects the main character's thinking, and feeling, and thus action according to the genre, you will zero in on the Narrative Hook -- and within that Narrative Hook's choice of vocabulary, you will find the seeds of your epiphany.

Following this method of generating immersive novels will likely launch you into a 20 year writing project.  I have witnessed a few writers struggling with a novel they feel they must write and rewriting it for decades, eventually coming out with a theme-story integrated work of Art that is head and shoulders above previously published works.

It is the topic that makes your blood boil that leads to being able to finish a 20 or even 30 year war with the words of your novel.

You'll get the words right only if you're mad enough when you start, if what you have to say is gut-wrenchingly important to you, and you know how to explain that importance to your readers.

As noted above, one fertile source of such ideas is Wikipedia. Much of what you find there is not actually, wholly, true -- but the contents of wikipedia do reflect what a huge swath of the population thinks is true.

What is true vs what a majority thinks is true is a quintessential Conflict which works marvelously for Science Fiction and for Romance genre.  

The discovery that what you think is true, is in fact not true, is an "epiphany."  Or what is now termed "woke" - a state of mind where your eyes suddenly see something different than they did only one blink previously.

The world has not changed, but your method of interpreting it has.

You can study this effect just by staring at one of the optical illusion memes that streak across the internet from time to time.

Blink and it's two vases - blink again and it's two faces. The lines of the drawing haven't changed!  

When you've been hoodwinked, scammed, fooled, made into a patsy, robbed blind, victimized by disinformation, and don't know it, it is two vases -- but suddenly you know it, and it's two faces.

The scam and your position as a victim hasn't changed -- you have.

That change in you is your STORY.

How, why, and when you BLINK (blinking is an action) is your PLOT.

Here is a Wikipedia juxtaposition of well known processes that, if understood in a wider context, can lead to that sort of EPIPHANY at the core of Theme-Story Integration -- the realization that you have been fooled that comes because you have changed, not because your world changed.


Wikipedia - the place to find what people think is true

Game theory is the study of mathematical models of strategic interaction among rational decision-makers.[1] It has applications in all fields of social science, as well as in logic, systems science and computer science. Originally, it addressed zero-sum games, in which each participant's gains or losses are exactly balanced by those of the other participants. In the 21st century, game theory applies to a wide range of behavioral relations, and is now an umbrella term for the science of logical decision making in humans, animals, and computers.


Public relations (PR) is the practice of deliberately managing the release and spread of information between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a nonprofit organization) and the public in order to affect the public perception. Public relations (PR) and publicity differ in that PR is controlled internally, whereas publicity is not controlled and contributed by external parties.[1] Public relations may include an organization or individual gaining exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not require direct payment.[2] This differentiates it from advertising as a form of marketing communications. Public relations aims to create or obtain coverage for clients for free, also known as 'earned media', rather than paying for marketing or advertising. But in the early 21st century, advertising is also a part of broader PR activities.[3]


Conflict arises (thus plot arises) from discovering how decision makers have "gamed" you by carefully curating the information you have access to.

If you do something about it, they will do something to you.  

Jacqueline Lichtenberg 

This post first appeared on Alien Romances, please read the originial post: here

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Theme-Story Integration Part 8 - Game Theory And Public Relations


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