Story chains

Kurt Vonnegut’s story graphs are, quite possibly, the simplest way to comprehend the structure of a story. To demonstrate their efficacy, consider the two story graphs below and tell me which one will make for the better story.

story a and b

“Story B”, right?

Now, allow me to introduce a simple concept which I call “story chains”. It’s predicated on the idea that, in each story, a shift in polarity represents a link. “Story B” has six.

story b numbered

The idea of “story chains” is that each scene is connected in some way to the one preceding it and the one following it.

story chain

Without this forwards and backwards connectivity, the chain breaks. And a broken chain is a broken story.