Building a Storyform with Muse
While there are different ways of finalizing a Storyform for your particular story, the approach we strongly recommend is to develop from scratch with Muse. You can simply tell Muse, "I want to write a story about a treasure hunt in the New Mexico desert," and the assistant will start to ask you the kinds of questions you need to start thinking about when trying to find a Storyform.
While eventually Muse will be able to take all your answers and automatically convert them into a Storyform, for the time being, this is a manual process where you have to do a bit of the manual work. It's not the worst thing in the world, as you'll be learning a thing or two about narrative structure along the way. The best part? Muse will always be there every step of the way to help guide you.
Once you feel comfortable with the narrative dynamics you've worked through with Muse, it's time to move to the Premise Builder in Subtxt. This tool will be the sandbox for your ideas, refining them into a coherent Storyform. Here, you'll find four main sections to explore:
Think of this as the 'character' of your story. What tone or mood do you want to set? Is it a dark comedy, a light-hearted adventure, or a serious drama? Your choices here will set the stage for everything that follows.
This is the core question or debate your story will resolve. Is it about freedom vs. security, individual vs. society, or something else? The Dramatic Argument will serve as the backbone of your narrative, helping you keep your storytelling focused and impactful.
Here, you'll fine-tune the setting and context of your story. This can include anything from the world-building elements to the specific rules of the universe your characters inhabit. Consider how these choices can enhance or challenge your Dramatic Argument.
Finally, based on your previous selections, you can now formulate a premise that captures the essence of your story. This is your story's mission statement, a single sentence that communicates its purpose and promise.
Each of these sections is designed to make the complex task of story development manageable, structured, and, most importantly, fulfilling. With Muse and Subtxt working hand-in-hand, you'll not only create compelling narratives but also deepen your understanding of the art of storytelling.
You'll notice colored boxes at the top, representing the Objective Story (OS), Main Character (MC), Obstacle Character (OC), and Relationship Story (RS) domains. Your choices here are Universe, Physics, Psychology, and Mind. To set a domain, simply drag its corresponding colored box into one of these four areas.
For example, if you drag the OS box into "Psychology," Subtxt will automatically set the RS Domain to "Physics," maintaining the diagonal balance.
If you're unsure about what these terms mean, you can ask Muse for an explanation. "What would an OS Domain of Psychology look like for my story?" OR "give me examples of my Main Character in each of the following Domains: Universe, Physics, Psychology, and Mind?"
Next, you'll choose a Narrative Family: Profound, Capable, Aspirational, or Contemplative. This sets the focus of the plot and selects a family of narrative elements for you. When you click any one of these, Subtxt will set the most appropriate type of Goal for your story in the Objective Story Throughline box. For instance, if he sets the OS Domain to Physics, and then selects the Profound family, Subtxt will automatically set the Story Goal to Understanding as this is the best type of Goal for that kind of story.
If you're unsure about which Story Goal would fit best, ask Muse: "What would be the best Story Goal for my story?"
Determine whether your story is Action-driven or Decision-driven. Muse can help you here as well, especially if you know your story's genre. For example, ask: "For an action/adventure, what are the conventional Story Drivers?"
Choose a pair of Pivotal Elements that your narrative will rest on. One will be for the Main Character and the other for the Obstacle Character. Muse can help you choose, for example: "Which pair works best for my MC and OC, Avoid/Pursuit or Faith/Disbelief?"
- Purpose of the Premise:
- Choose between "Achieving a Goal (Male Mental Sex)" or "Setting an Intention (Female Mental Sex)."
- Example: If your story revolves around a detective hell-bent on solving a case, "Achieving a Goal" might be more fitting. Alternatively, if your main character is more focused on understanding herself and her relationships, then "Setting an Intention" would be a better choice.
- If you're unsure, you can ask Muse: "What does Female Mental Sex mean for my story?"
- Central Argument:
- Choose between "Abandon" and "Maintain."
- Example: If your Main Character starts off as a skeptic but learns to believe in something supernatural by the end, that's a "Changed" Resolve, hence you should choose "Abandon." If the MC starts and ends as a skeptic, that's "Steadfast," and you'd choose "Maintain."
- Again, Muse can assist: "From what you know about my story, does it sound like my Main Character's Resolve is Changed or Steadfast?"
- Options are "Triumph," "Virtuous," "Bleak," or "Tragedy."
- Example: If your story concludes with the MC achieving their goal and resolving their inner conflict, that would be a "Triumph" (Success/Good). If they achieve the goal but remain emotionally unresolved, that's "Bleak" (Success/Bad).
- Muse can help with this choice: "Is my story a Triumph or a Tragedy?" or "What would it look like if my story ended in Failure/Bad?"
- In the Premise section, you'll find dropdowns that suggest illustrations for each of the Elements you've chosen, one for Character and one for Plot.
- Example: Suppose one of your Elements is "Pursuit." The dropdown might suggest various ways to illustrate this, like "Chasing a life-long dream," "Hunting down an enemy," or "Seeking justice for a wrong." You could either pick one of these or type in your own, such as "Striving for professional success."
- Muse can offer feedback on these choices. For instance, you might type in "Striving for professional success" and ask Muse: "Does this specific illustration align with what we've discussed about my story?"
Once all settings are finalized, scroll to the bottom, add a working title, and click "Build this Story." Depending on whether the storyform already exists, you might have to wait a bit.
That should cover the entire manual process of bringing your Muse work into Subtxt. Remember, Muse and Subtxt are there to guide you, but ultimately, the best choices align with your unique vision for your story.
If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to reach out. Good luck, and happy storytelling!