What order do I go through the process? What's the workflow?

Alan Brain asked: I would like to know if there is an order to go through all this process. Lets, say first we tackle people, then places then purpose and then plot? or what should be the ideal order in an ideal situation?

Some other folks I've discussed this with have found it most helpful to think of it in terms of two phases: Listening and Constructing. And it can be helpful to think of it this way, because often, in practice, some of these steps are happening at the same time, such as when we're listening.

1. Listening

We start by listening for potential People. We're researching, finding leads, and pre-interviewing potential Hearts.

But, as we're getting to know our People, we're also listening for potential Places and potential Plot Points. And all of this information will help inform our Purpose.

2. Constructing

After the listening phase is over, now it's time to move into constructing. Constructing means choosing, it means making decisions. And the first decision we'll make, will be our 5 Keywords.

Remember that our 5 Keywords are not about a single person, but about the general themes and consistencies we see across our top three potential Hearts. This is because your Purpose is much greater than a single person, it's moving toward a greater truth of the story we want to leave the audience with. So that means including multiple perspectives.

Once you have your 5 Keywords, the next decision to be made is who will be the final, Heart of your story. And who may be Helpers or Experts. This is where we use our 5 Keywords we just chose, along with each potential Heart's Big 3 Things, to help us.

Now that the 5 Keywords have been chosen, and our Heart has been chosen, next it's time to build out the Plot. Again, this is why it's helpful to have already listened to potential Plot Points. Because now, you'll want to actually decide what this person's 6 Essential Plot Points will be.

And while you haven't reached this part in the course yet, finally, you'll look at your Plot Points, and look at your potential Places, to decide which Places you then want to use to show those moments in the story.

To boil it down then, the decisions made during the construction phase follow this order:

  • 5 Keywords
  • Heart, Helpers & Experts
  • Plot Points
  • Places to show Plot Points