In the light cast by the open door you see that a huge limb has fallen from a tree near the driveway. Did it hit your car?

Worried about your car, you dash out into the wind and rain, towards the tree.

Not seeing any immediate problem, you close the door and turn back towards your chair.

This is one of two branches at the first split of the story.

Unlike some of the later nodes, this one offers significantly different options.

Part of the tension of writing multiplex stories is the need to make them all taut and effective.

We end some of them so quickly it's hard to tell.

If you're trying to prevent the tree of story options from growing exponentially, you have to prune and combine branches. Otherwise after N steps you'd have 2^ n endings.

Sure, but that doesn't demand that you make too many softball options.