Advance and Expand

By | August 2, 2010




Please set up a scene in progress.


The players start into their scene as they would any other. When the ‘advance’ is called out the players focus solely on the story, and advance the story. When ‘expand’ is called out the players solely explore their environment.

During an ‘advance’ the players would add nothing to the environment, but would introduce constructive new bits of information about who, why and where. They could raise the stakes, introduce a new character, but every offer must make the story move forward. These advances can be done at the exclusion of the environment and even the reality.

During an ‘expand’ the story is completely ignored, characters are not developed and the players engross themselves in their mimed environments. The sink that their character is standing at becomes the focus. The taps are explored, the shape is explored, its taste, etc. Again the story will be derailed by the ‘expand’ but the environment will become much more real.

The goal of the exercise is to help players differentiate between advancing a narrative and expanding a narrative. This exercise can be used to prevent offer suffocation in scenes. Expanding is an important long form tool where more time is spent developing characters and worlds.




Have one player expand while another advances.