Here’s a quick look at one aspect of fashioning a trilogy: whether each individual installment is a tale or a story. A tale is a linear progression that both makes sense logically, step by step, and also makes sense emotionally, mood to mood. If any steps are missing or if it jumps from one mood to an inappropriate one that just doesn’t follow, then the tale ceases to function. But, if all the steps and moods are progressive and consistent, then the tale will work and the meaning or message (as in a fairy tale) is whether the tales linear path is a good one or a bad one by comparing the beginning situation/feeling to the ending one. A story is a more complex form, though not necessarily a more powerful one – different in structure, but equally effective in audience impact. If a tale can be said to proclaim that a given path is independently a good or bad one, a story purports that a given path is either the best or the worst of all that might reasonably have been taken. To do this, rather that just showing the one path and its outcome, all other paths […]

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