The TV show Community is written by Dan Harmon, who has developed a writing algorithm, described in WIRED magazine, which he claims underlies all stories. From that I derived the table below for transposing fiction plot development to non-fiction problem solution and product sales.
|FICTION||NON-FICTION or OBJECT|
|Characters comfortable||It works poorly but why?|
|They want something||Get more n better but how?|
|They enter a situation||Identify a change needed?|
|Struggle with it||Changing the thing.|
|Get what they wanted||Making a model work.|
|Pay a high price for it||Paying for the changes!|
|Back to the old situation||Works different and better.|
|Having changed||Sell examples, and scale up.|
That is a good starting point for any story outline or product development, but when watching South Park, 6 days to air, a Comedy Central documentary about the animated sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, I saw a very different creative process; but there was a moment during the interview, where Trey mentioned one of the ideas he uses when he hits a creative wall. He searches for ideas lurking behind the word and in a developing story; he then tries to make the story shorter and punchier by replacing those linking and concepts with buts and therefores. Changing the and this happened, to this was intended to happen but was frustrated by this other thing, or this particular thing was happening therefore this was the reasonable thing to happen as a result, but maybe didn’t because this other thing happened. This brings plot-connecting reasons to screen for the characters behaving as they do, instead of simply showing what they do; because a cardboard cut-out can do anything on screen, but it makes no sense at all until they are given reasons and thus motivations for their actions.
Of course if everything worked out instantly there would be no drama and no story, therefore there must be other characters with reasons and motivations of their own which come into direct conflict with the original characters goals. All of the characters have their own special backgrounds and needs, therefore they have unique ways, characteristic of them, of doing what they do. Therefore, reasonable behavior for one character would be inappropriate and thus unreasonable for another one, even though it would be exactly the same action.
Things become more valued when there are understood.