Stories and Narratives

Subtxt is the first software application for writers that allows for multiple narratives within a single story.

In short, a single story may contain several different narratives (think Lord of the Rings or Jerry Maguire). By adding a different set of thematic focus, the Author opens up the singular experience of a story to several different narrative concerns.

Just know that the more narratives, the larger the work (again, think Lord of the Rings).

Duplicating a Narrative

You may find that after working on your story and illustrating the various Storypoints, that you want to try a different approach with the same exact story structure. Subtxt makes this easy with its Duplicate Storyform feature.

Duplicating a Storyform in Subtxt

When you select duplication, Subtxt will copy the structure of your story but NOT the actual storyelling--giving you a fresh new narrative for you to develop.

Choosing a Duplicated Storyform

Once completed, you will see your duplicated Storyform listed at the bottom of the Narrative view (labeled "Duplicated from" and the name of your current narrative). To work on this new fresh narrative, tap the Duplicated Storyform and Subtxt will load it into place.

You can always switch back to your original narrative by returning to this screen and selecting the original narrative at the bottom of the screen.

There are two main components of a work in Subtxt: "Stories" and "Narratives." Stories can hold multiple narratives such that a Player can be Main Character in one narrative and Influence Character in another narrative. If you want a completely unique set of characters, the best approach is to build a brand new story.

Adding a Narrative

Subtxt provides four methods for adding a narrative to your current story:

  • the Premise Builder
  • grab a Random narrative
  • Storyform Connections
  • upload a Structure from the Dramatica application

Each of these options provides you a powerful means at which to arrive at the Narrative Argument of your story.

:::tip The Premise is everything in Subtxt--as the order of thematic issues and character development within a story is based entirely on the message being communicated to the Audience. :::

The Premise

The order of events has meaning. A slap followed by a scream means something entirely different than a scream followed by a slap.

This is why the Premise is so essential to the outline of your story.

What you want to say determines the order of events. An argument that leads to Triumph will begin and end in a completely different place than a Cautionary Tale or Tragedy.

The Premise of Rain Man

This is why templates based on cultural mythology, heroic journeys, or saving cats ultimately fall apart--they don't mean anything.

Subtxt analyses your theme and then gives you an outline that communicates its message.

No two Narrative Arguments are the same. However, there are some stories that consist of the same Narrative Argument--even if on the surface they appear to be completely different.

Finding Nemo makes the same argument that Michael Mann makes in Collateral.

Birdman conveys the same argument as Star Wars.

The Lion King and Black Panther make the same argument. (Come to think of it, those two really aren't all that different on the surface either!)

Selecting the right Narrative Argument for your story is the most important decision you need to make when starting to write your story. If you don't know what your story is about, how are you going to decide what to write about?

Of course, Subtxt can also help you out if you don't even know what you want to write (see Random Structures).