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Basic Concepts

 
Causality Story Sequencer is a new kind of story development and writing app that allows you to work with your script visually at the same time as writing it.
 
For now, don't worry about what button to push, we'll get to that later, let's just talk about how Causality thinks about story.
 
Causality has three main areas, the Script, the Whiteboard, and the Timeline:
 
 
On the Whiteboard, you create Beats for things that should happen in your story. At the same time, the script is made up of Snippets, which are little chunks of text that express Beats.
 
 
Typically, one Beat matches one Snippet. Here are two Beats each connected to their own Snippet.
 
 
But this isn't set in stone. You can have many Beats happen in the same Snippet.
 
 
If you look closer at The Snippet title, it reflects all the Beats that are inserted into the Snippet. The yellow star is the primary beat in this snippet.
 
 
A single Beat can also take multiple Snippets to happen, which is shown as parts (1/2) and (2/2). This is used for interrupting Beats, or spreading them over multiple locations.
 
 
The Whiteboard is the workspace where you arrange Beats. It's similar to dividing a wall in your room into rows for storylines and columns for acts, and putting sticky-notes in for plot events.
 
Any change on the Whiteboard is reflected in the Script, and vice versa.
 
 
On the Whiteboard, you organize plot using three containers, Lanes, Blocks and Groups.
 
 
Lanes are like rows in a table, and span the entire story (and all episodes), so you'll use them for major storylines or layers in your story.
 
Blocks are the major containers that Beats go into, and they're simply a box around plot beats to make them easier to understand and handle together. You can place Blocks back to back and use them as segments of a storyline. You can also stack as many Blocks as you want inside of a Lane, and use them as sub-narratives. You need to decide which is the most meaningful way to categorize your story's elements.
 
Groups are not strictly necessary to use, but are convenient. Without Groups, all Beats would be out in the open, which spreads them very horizontally. With Groups, you can keep "runs" of events together as a single object, for example the five events needed to break into a bank, which are easier to understand as a single unit once you're done creating them. Groups create a much more compact and neat Whiteboard.
 
These are not story structure, they're simply boxes to put things into in order to get a handle on them.
 
Many people come from traditions of strictly hierarchical storytelling, where one section ends before another begins, and expect Lanes, Blocks and Groups to map to some kind existing story structure idea. But Causality is built for multiple, parallel narratives that cut back and forth freely, so you'll have many parallel Lanes and Blocks, and imagining a Block as e.g. a Chapter doesn't make sense.
 
You only do story structure using the break markers (for e.g. Episode, Act and Chapter breaks). You drop them in by right-clicking, or by inserting them in the Script.
 
 
Break markers are not hierarchical. You can easily interrupt an Act with an Episode break, for instance. They don't have to start and end inside of each other. You just drop them where you want them.
 
Finally, the Timeline shows the final, serialized order of events:
 
 
In a way, both the Whiteboard and the Timeline show time, but in different ways. While the Whiteboard spreads things out vertically and makes the plot easier to understand, the Timeline makes the true, final order of events easier to understand and manipulate.
 
The tracks in the timeline show events for characters, and this is also where emotional curves will be shown.
 
It's not necessary to delve deeply into the timeline for now. The most important things for a beginner to learn are the Whiteboard and the Script.