Profundity Chart

The Profundity Chart invites you to consider several different "planes" or levels on which a piece of fiction may be operating.

The Physical Plane

What’s the plot?  What happened?  And then what happened?…  Just a summary of the key points in the plot.  What physical changes do characters or settings go through?

The Mental Plane
Describe what the character(s) think about.   Does the author simply tell you what the character thinks, or how can you tell what the character thinks.  To what degree do characters accurately perceive reality; in other words, are their thoughts accurate?  How does their thinking change?

The Moral Plane
Describe the moral issues that characters face.  What choices do they confront about what is good and what is bad?  How do they decide what is good/bad?  What choice do they make?  What are the consequences of those choices?  How are the characters changed by the moral choices they’ve made?

The Psychological Plane
Describe why the characters behave as they do.  What psychological factors are at work?  What are they motivated by (e.g fear, love, greed, desire for power, care for others . . .)?  Does the author let us see what in their background has made them this way?  In light of what the characters experience, how would you expect their behavior to be different in the future?

The Philosophical Plane
This may be something you can’t answer until end of book or story.  What “universal truth” does the author want you to take away from the story?  There may be more than one (or none).  What does the story teach you that you can use in your own life?  What is the lesson(s) of the story? 

The Analogical Plane
How is this story like others you've read?  How is this story similar to events in real life?

The Transformational Plane
How have you been changed by reading this story?  What did you learn?  What opinions did you hold that are now changed?  What do you now understand about life or other people that you did not understand before reading this story?