The Fifth World

Ask questions and build on the answers.

Constantly ask questions of the other players’ characters — about the things they see, hear, smell, taste, and touch, about their feelings and perspectives, about their hopes and fears, about their past, about anything and everything about them that catches your attention. The definitive answers remain uncertain until someone spends a moment of awareness, but these impressions provide valuable hints and signs along the way. Add what you see to the answers that others provide and build on them. When those answers pique your curiosity, pursue them in play.

This principle relates to our agenda to hunt the wild story by ensuring that the story lives between us, and does not fall under the control of any one of us. Asking a question holds power, because it focuses our attention on one thing, and not on any other. Answering a question holds power, because it tells us what we find when we focus our attention. The format of the question divides that power between two people, so that the outcome doesn’t belong to any one person alone.