We initiate a study of positive multisections of Lefschetz fibrations via positive factorizations in framed mapping class groups of surfaces. Using our methods, one can effectively capture various interesting symplectic surfaces in symplectic 4–manifolds as multisections, such as Seiberg–Witten basic classes and exceptional classes, or branched loci of compact Stein surfaces as branched coverings of the 4–ball. Various problems regarding the topology of symplectic 4–manifolds, such as the smooth classification of symplectic Calabi–Yau 4–manifolds, can be translated to combinatorial problems in this manner. After producing special monodromy factorizations of Lefschetz pencils on symplectic Calabi–Yau homotopy K3 and Enriques surfaces, and introducing monodromy substitutions tailored for generating multisections, we obtain several novel applications, allowing us to construct: new counterexamples to Stipsicz’s conjecture on fiber sum indecomposable Lefschetz fibrations, nonisomorphic Lefschetz pencils of the same genera on the same new symplectic 4–manifolds, the very first examples of exotic Lefschetz pencils, and new exotic embeddings of surfaces.
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