The principle of But and Therefore

October 27, 2023

Matthew Dicks, a storyteller and author, advocates for the “Principle of But and Therefore” as a storytelling technique. This principle encourages storytellers to structure their narratives in a way that maintains engagement and progression. Here’s a brief summary:

The “Principle of But and Therefore” suggests that in storytelling, each plot development should be connected using “but” or “therefore” rather than “and then.” Instead of events occurring in a linear and disconnected fashion, they should be linked causally. When something happens, it should lead to a consequence, which, in turn, triggers the next development.

Using “but” introduces conflict or obstacles, while “therefore” indicates the logical result or action that follows. This approach keeps the audience engaged by creating a sense of cause and effect, driving the plot forward with purpose. It prevents a story from becoming a mere sequence of unrelated events and helps maintain narrative coherence and tension.