Adapting Pre-existing Works with Subtxt
Welcome to the wonderful world of adaptation! If you're reading this, it's likely that you're seeking ways to utilize Subtxt to adapt an existing piece of work--perhaps a novel, a play, or even a historical event--into a fresh format. You're in the right place!
To start, let's understand how to get your chosen story into Muse, our intelligent companion within Subtxt.
In the given example, we're playing with "Salammbo" by Gustavé Flaubert, an intriguing choice and a lesser-known treasure (Even we had to reach deep into the literary archives for this one!). If Muse isn't familiar with your chosen story, fear not! Your next step is to provide a concise synopsis of the story. This will give Muse the necessary context to help you with the adaptation process.
Once your story is properly set up in Muse, the core of your adaptation work begins: breaking down the Four Throughlines of your story.
Don't worry if Muse's breakdown doesn't immediately align with your interpretation of the story. This is an interactive process! Feel free to ask Muse to swap the Main Character for the Obstacle Character, or to suggest a new Obstacle Character altogether. Muse's understanding of the Antagonist varies, sometimes viewing them as the Obstacle Character, and other times not. It's all part of the rich tapestry of storytelling.
Now comes the fun part! Choose a Storyform - any Storyform - and invite Muse to illustrate it for you. In our example, the student chose to use the storyform for the movie Gladiator as a roadmap for their adaptation of "Salammbo." With the Overall Story (OS) Domain and Concern defined as Universe/Future, and the Main Character (MC) Domain and Concern as Physics/Obtaining, the student asked Muse to take the reins.
Remember, Muse is incredibly intelligent, but sometimes, it can get a little mixed up. In our case, it got a bit overzealous and created a whole new "hypothetical" story using the chosen Storyform. If this happens, don't fret! A gentle reminder will get you back on track, and you can continue your adaptation work.
Feel free to repeat this process for the Obstacle Character and Relationship Story Throughlines, as well as for any other Storypoints or Storybeats that you find in your chosen Storyform within Subtxt. By the time you're done, you'll have an intimate knowledge of the story structure of your adapted work. It will serve as a reliable guide as you begin writing your scenes.
Enjoy the process, and remember: Subtxt and Subtxt Muse are here to support your storytelling journey. Happy adapting!