To clarify, a story arc is a tool used by an author or authors to expose only part of larger, encompassing story. Usually done in installments, the story arc can stand alone, as well as fitting perfectly into the larger story. This is because a story arc has an intrinsic beginning, middle and end.

An excellent example of the concept of story arcs is in the Trading Card Game industry. The two best examples from that field are Magic: The Gathering, and the Legend of the Five Rings Card game. Each expansion exhibits its own story, if one reads all the flavor text provided. The L5R story is a dynamic one, whilst the M:TG stories tend to be more static, a historical account of sorts.

The interesting thing about the Legend of the Five Rings story arcs is that players of the game may influence the story. Every so often, the publisher will hold a Storyline Tournament, wherein the winning faction will be granted some sort of power or reward in the next edition, and the losers will pay some sort of penalty like having the ancestral home pillaged and/or razed.

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