The Premise

The Premise in Subtxt is the narrative argument of a story. Everything that follows: the structure of each Act, the thematic focus of every sequence, and the specifics of every scene refer back to this Premise. In Subtxt, structure is more than just a pattern of recognizable “beats”—narrative structure is the ordered thoughts of a dramatic argument.

Conceptualizing the Premise

Once built, you cannot alter the underlying subtext of your story’s argument. You can adjust the surface-level Storytelling, but you can’t make significant changes without starting over.

The Premise in Subtxt is made up of two components: Character and Plot. The Character component communicates the subjective aspect of the argument, while the Plot covers the objective side of things. Combined, they carry the intention of the story.

If you are already familiar with the concept of the Storyform, the Premise is a distillation—or reduction—of that Storyform. While it was not readily apparent in earlier incarnations, the Storyform is the schematic of an argument. The Premise in Subtxt cuts to the point in order to communicate the meaning of such a blueprint.

The specific Storytelling of both the Character and Plot components of the Premise may be altered in the Premise tab. Simply tap on the bold portion of the Premise and select from the Drop-down.

As with many of the interactions in Subtxt that appear this way, if you can’t find an Illustration that matches the idea in your head feel free to submit your concept to us. If accepted, your idea will be added to the global database of approved Illustrations. If not, you will be sent an email as to why and your Illustration will be swapped out with one that has been approved.

Subtxt Settings

Beneath the Premise, you’ll find a list of Subtxt Settings similar to the ones you might have chosen in the Premise Builder. These are not interactive, and only appear as a means of easy reference with the narrative you are currently working on.

Alternate 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 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).

The current implementation of this feature is limited in that, while you can switch between narratives, the ability to weave these alternate narratives into one cohesive story is not available.Access to multiple narratives is available as you might want to try out different narratives without having to re-enter story information like character names or Worldbuilding aspects that could apply to any narrative.

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 Obstacle 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
  • Copying a Narrative from the Subtxt records
  • grab a Random Narrative
  • Storyform Connections

Each of these options provides you an option to attach your new Narrative to an existing Story.

Setting a Default Narrative

Once you have multiple narratives set into your story, you may find it convenient to set one as the default narrative that is loaded every time you open your story.

To set the current working narrative as the Default Narrative, simply toggle the switch in the Advanced Settings here in the Premise tab.

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