Making the Premise Your Own

When you tap Build a Story in Subtxt, two things happen:

  • Subtxt sets a unique narrative structure finely tuned to the meaning of your Premise
  • Subtxt assigns random Storytelling Illustrations to your story

This separation is vital for the rest of your life as an Author. Narrative structure is the subtext of your story—what you give to the Audience is an Illustration that sits on top of that structure.

This is why you could conceivably create a story by random in Subtxt that—without changing a thing—will magically make sense and feel deeply meaningful.

The meaning rests in the structure. Your particular take on that meaning is what you actually write.

Case in point: the Premise of your story.

Adjusting the Premise

When you tap Build a Story Subtxt pulls everything together, and then drops you off in front of your Premise.

Depending on whether you built this story from a finished work or if you built it from the ground-up, it's likely that this Premise is not 100% in-line with the story you want to write.

How do we adjust this Premise, yet maintain the original intent of the message?

Welcome to the separation between subtext and text.

Note the bolded portion of the Premise statement (if on desktop, a gold underline shows up when you hover over it). This bold text indicates where Subtxt found a Random Illustration to fit the structure of your story.

Tap on the bold text to interact with your Premise, and Subtxt presents you with a list of alternate choices—Storytelling Illustrations—that, while random, all carry some sort of commonality between them.

Scroll through the suggested Illustrations. Note how they all maintain the same essential meaning, but vary enough to give you some wiggle room within your imagination. Find one that connects, and select it to confirm your choice.

Congratulations! 🎉 You adjusted the Storytelling of your Premise without altering, or breaking, the original intent or structure of this story.

This is how Subtxt works its magic through every single Storypoint and Storybeat of your story.

Separating Structure from Experience

You can tap on an Illustration, hit Enter to select, scroll through the list, or cycle up and down with the arrow keys. If you can’t make up your mind, tap outside of pop-up window or hit Esc to return back to your original view (this interaction works throughout most of Subtxt btw).

If you chose a different Illustration, re-read your Premise.

Weird, right? You changed a couple words, yet the intent of the message remained the same. In fact, taking a look at the two examples above from The Father, the first Premise seems to apply to Anthony Hopkin's character Anthony, while the second seems to apply to either one of his daughters...

That’s not coincidence--that's writing a story from purposeful intent, from meaningful story structure.

And that’s only the beginning.

The rest of your development process with Subtxt involves this back-and-forth between structure and illustration, between substance and experience. You write the experience for your Audience and Subtxt will help keep you on track with your original intentions.