Narrative Personalities

Subtxt maintains an extensive catalogue of professionally curated Storyforms categorized, in part, by Genre. The arrangement of the four Throughlines by classification (Domains) sets the Narrative Personality of a story. By aligning the Source of Conflict experienced in the story with a particular perspective, the Author sets the overall feeling of what it is like to "hang out" with a story.

When you first open Subtxt's Premise Builder, you'll find the default Genre set to Action/Adventure:


There isn't anything special about this Genre above any of the others--just that it's the most common one used in Western storytelling today.

Note the placement of the Plot in Physics and the Main Character in Universe. Most Action/Adventures focus the central of their plot in Physics: all the characters come into conflict over doing things and trying to control situations through physical activity.

In addition, these Action/Adventures often position the Main Character in Universe: the central character is often one dealing with personal issues surrounding their physical status, or reputation, or special abilities (their place within the "universe" is most central to their conflict).

Selecting a Different Genre

Now, watch what happens when you switch Genres. Tap the gold button beneath the "What kind of a story do you want to write?" prompt and select Courtroom Drama.

Both the Plot and Main Character exchange points-of-view with the Influence Character and Relationship Story Throughlines.

In a Courtroom Drama, we find the Plot in Mind: all the characters come into conflict over incongruent attitudes--more often than not, whether an individual is guilty or not.

And while the initial example of A Few Good Men finds the Main Character Throughline in Psychology (Tom Cruise's character Daniel Kaffee deals with a dysfunctional laxadaisacal point-of-view at the start), not all Courtroom Dramas position the Main Character in the same way.

The Variations within a Genre

Note the anchor icon located in the upper right hand corner of the Plot Throughline. This signifies that, for this Genre, the Plot must remain in the Mind Domain...whereas the Main Character Throughline has some leeway.

You can grab the Main Character Throughline and shift it away from Psychology and into Physics, and still maintain the same Genre.

Now, we have 12 Angry Men. The Plot still revolves around fixed mindsets of guilty or not guilty, but now the Main Character Throughline is less about a dysfunctional way of thinking, and more about the struggle to teach everyone in that room the idea of this boy's innocence.

Daniel Kaffee struggles with a dysfunctional psychology, where as Henry Fonda's Main Character Davis struggles with the physical nature of teaching others.

Breaking the Genre

You can, of course, break out of Genre and move the Plot Throughline into any one of the four Domains and call it a "Courtroom Drama."

Just know that in doing so, you will be playing against audience expectation--and usually, not in a great way. Most Audiences arrive at a story with a certain expectation of what hanging out with that story will be like. They expect Action/Adventures to be all about physical conflict, and they expect Courtroom Dramas to be about fixed attitudes.

Subtxt signals your modification by placing the label "Modified" under your chosen Genre. In addition, Subtxt lists the available Genres that match your current selection.

In the example above, shifting the Plot of a Courtroom Drama into Psychology switches the entire personality of the story over to something more closely resembling a Fantasy Romance, Historical Drama, Psychological Thriller, or Sci Fi Satire...

Now, you're free to always write whatever you want, a Sci Fi Satire Courtroom Drama may be just what you're looking for--just know that you might be creating a personality within a chosen Genre too strange for most audiences.

All Genres

You can always find the complete list of Genres available in Subtxt here: Genres