Illustrating

Storybeats

Introduction

Storybeats differ from Storypoints in that they represent the temporal aspects of a narrative that carry the Audience from the beginning to the end of the story.

Each Throughline maintains a collection of Storybeats unique to that perspective. When illustrating your Storybeats don't worry about how they connect with Storybeats in other Throughlines: save that for the Plotting stage of development.

Storybeats and Scenes

When it comes to the meaning, or message of a story, scenes don’t matter. A scene can start and stop any time, and can consist of any number of thematic issues. End the scene earlier or move its issues from one scene to the next, and the message stays the same. The subtext of the narrative remains intact.

And that’s all we’re really concerned about when developing a story in Subtxt.

When it comes to meaning, scenes are arbitrary dividing lines. One man’s scene is another woman’s sequence—the markers are entirely subjective and therefore don’t factor into the message.

Subtxt honors this reality of story by referring to individual events as Storybeats, not scenes. A single scene can contain any number of Storybeats. It can consist of one or 600–the final tally is entirely up to the writer.

What isn’t up to the writer is the importance of that beat to the overall message of the story. Storybeats communicate the meaning of your story.

Note

The more Storybeats within a scene, the greater the dramatic impact and importance within the scope of the narrative. Think of the final Trench Scene in the original Star Wars: Objective Story Throughline Beats mix with Main Character that mix with Obstacle Character and Relationship Story Throughline Beats.

The reason why the climax of a story feels so monumental is not just because it's at the end of the story, it's because it's chock-full of important and meaningful Storybeats.

Writing an Effective Storybeat

Too many writers fall into the trap of simply using the illustration of a Storybeat verbatim, without taking the time to consider WHY this particular illustration is problematic within the context of the story.

In The Shawshank Redemption, the first Main Character Transit of Red's Throughline is a Method of Being with an Illustration of "pretending everything is OK. The Mad-libs style of illustrating this part of the Subtxt storyform would find many Authors writing this:

Red pretends everything is OK when he's up for the parole board hearing. He then continues to do it when he meets Andy and when he hears the other inmates getting hurt late at night.

While this is OK, it's only illustrating 50% of what is actually needed to fully understand the conflict of this particular Storybeat.

It's not enough to simply copy and paste the Illustration, the Author's responsibility is to show HOW that is problematic for the characters in that scene. How does Stephen King show why Red "pretending something is OK" ends up being a problem for him?

Some people are perfectly fine with pretending everything is OK--as Authors, we can't assume that just because we think this illustration is a problem that means everyone else will think it is a problem as well.

**We need to show the Method of conflict explored in the Storybeat to be problematic. We need to show how and why it creates conflict within the narrative.

So, how does Red find conflict in "pretending everything is OK"?

Example

Main Character Transit 1 of Being

Red wants to stay under the radar in order to be known as someone who can get things done, yet such a man becomes complicit in the corrupt nature of the system--losing himself in the process. In addition, the bluffing is so insincere that the review board has no other alternative than to deny his release. As a consequence, fear and complacency rise to the surface for Red in this Act.

Why is this important?

Well, now we have more meaningful Storybeats to refer to when we go to write our story. It's not just that Red is pretending, it's that his pretending is causing him great personal conflict. This connection between Storytelling and Subtext (meaning/Storyform) clues the Audience in on what it is we are trying to say with our story. There is a greater purpose behind the scenes.

And it will help us generate even greater Storytelling further on down the line.

By illustrating this first Act of Red's as showing pretending as a problem, we prime the Audience with an understanding of the kind of resistance Red is creating for himself. We know where his self-sabotage is coming from, and we recognize it as an opportunity for growth.

Illustrating the Turning of a Storybeat

When it comes to illustrating a family of Storybeats (e.g., the Transits of a Throughline, or the Progressions of a Transit), writers can benefit from taking an outside-in approach that honors the meaning of a Storybeat over the linear progression of beats that appear within.

The Dramatic Circuit Analogy

Think of each Transit or Progression as a dramatic circuit, such that the energy of the narrative flows in through the first child Storybeat and then exits out that circuit through the last Storybeat. The middle two Storybeats simply process, or work through, the narrative energy as it transmutes from beginning to end.

You might have heard this referred to as "turning a scene" elsewhere, or you might know this as the concept of "negative" and "positive" scenes, such that one enters a scene with a positive charge, and then leaves with a negative charge (or vice versa).

The reason others have picked up on this in the past is that, for the most part, the first and last Storybeat of a Progression or Transit are typically polar opposites of a Dynamic Pair. When viewed within the context of the Dramatica quad, energy arrives into the scene in the upper left quadrant, and then exits out through the bottom quadrant.

The Outside-In Approach

When illustrating a Transit or Progression, consider these first and last Storybeats first, and then proceed inward to address the other two. In this way, the writer ensures a consistency of thematic integrity towards the parent Storybeat (either Transit or Progression).

The Scope of a Storybeat

While presented with different labels, every Storybeat theoretically is the same exact thing: a single point in time along the thread of narrative that is your story. By offering you the chance to see these Beats at different resolutions, Authors can determine for themselves how much time to spend on a particular part of their story.

More detail = more time, and more specificity.

Subtxt offers three sizes (or scopes) of Storybeats:

  • Transits
  • Progressions
  • Events

Transits are the largest size of Storybeats, with Progressions being the next size down, and Events the smallest. There are four Transits in every Throughline, four Progressions in every Transit, and four Events in every Progression.

Transits

Within the context of a complete story, you will find a total of 16 Transit Storybeats--four for each of the Four Throughlines. They will feel like "Acts" because they span a greater amount of time within the narrative.

The 16 Transits of a Complete Story

Progressions

Progression Storybeats are breakdowns of their parent Transit-level Storybeat. Think of these Progression Storybeats as telling the mini-"story" of the Transit Storybeat above them. If you break a Storybeat labelled "Progress" into the Progression Storybeats of "Truth, Evidence, Suspicion, and Falsehood," then those four Progression would tell the story of Progress for that Throughline.

In the beginning of a story, Progression Storybeats often end up in their own individual Scenes, cordoned off from the others. As the narrative progresses, and tension winds up, a "Scene" in your novel or screenplay might contain three or four of these Progressions (think the ending trench scene in the original Star Wars, where Storybeats from the Main Character, Obstacle Character, Relationship Story, and Objective Story fall into one action-packed moment).

Events

Events Storybeats illustrate the story of a Progression Storybeat. We refer to them as simply Events because they represent the smallest unit of narrative you can see without losing context of the entire story. If you were to dive further, you would be telling an entirely new story within the framework of your original story (Television series and seasons and individual episodes work this way).

Think of the Events as a specific outline for what happens in your Progression Storybeat from beginning to end. Again, in the beginning these four Events will represent the beginning, middle, and end of individual Progressions. As you get closer to the end, several groups of Events will work together to tell a highly dramatic and consequential climactic moment.

A Complete Story with All Transits, Progressions, and Events

Managing Different Sizes of Storybeats

Storybeats are essentially the fundamental units of storytelling. Transits, Progressions, and Events are all forms of Storybeats, each varying in size and complexity.

Transits can be considered as the overarching narrative flow, representing larger changes or shifts in the story. Progressions are smaller steps that contribute to these major transitions, while Events are the smallest units, depicting individual incidents or occurrences.

The manner in which you structure these Storybeats largely depends on your creative vision as the Author. You can choose to begin with the Transit, followed by the Progressions, or you can integrate the Transit within the Progressions. Both approaches are "correct" in the sense that they're both viable methods for structuring your narrative.

However, it's crucial to maintain balance and avoid excessive repetition. Too many Transits of the same type within a single Act can make the narrative feel stagnant and tedious.

And, yes, the storytelling of the Transit can encompass that of the Progressions. There's a lot of flexibility here to experiment with different approaches and see what best fits your story.

In terms of interacting with Subtxt, it shouldn't be an issue regardless of the approach you take. The application should be able to understand and adapt to the narrative structure you've chosen, as long as it's coherent and consistent.

There's no rigid rule that dictates how to weave Transits, Progressions, and Events together in your story. Your priority should be to deliver a compelling and engaging narrative that effectively communicates your story's message to your Audience.

Setting the Level of Detail

When you begin developing your story with Subtxt, the number of Storybeats is quite manageable. Four Transits in Four Throughlines gives you the minimal coverage for a complete story, and that relatively small amount of information (16 Storybeats) is easy to navigate during development.

As you grow that number beyond the initial sixteeen Storybeats, some Throughines can become quite overwhelming to navigate. As you zoom in and out mentally from the Transit level down to the Event level, you find yourself lost and wishing there was a way to focus in on one level at a time.

There is.

At the top of each Throughline, you'll find a three "dots" icon that you can click in order to set the level of detail.

Setting the Level of Detail

The choices within this dropdown menu are multi-selectable, meaning you can show just the Transits, or just the Transits and the Progressions, or just the Events. Any combination of all three will adjust the current Throughline View to a scope that is more manageable for you and your writing process.

The Storybeats of a Complete Story

At the minimum, a story needs the 16 Transits to be considered a complete story. These initial 16 StoryBeats are essential for communicating the essence of your Dramatic Argument (Premise). Leave one or two of these Storybeats out, and you risk losing your Audience. Repeat the same item over and over again, and you risk beating your Audience over the head with your message.

It's a tender balancing act, and one that you'll come to know intuitively the more you work with Subtxt.

Note that you do not have to illustrate every single Transit, every single Progression, and every single Event. Stories are a mix of larger-sized Storybeats interspersed with smaller-sized Storybeats. As long as the Audience has enough information to connect the dots between these Thematic Cycles, the meaning of the story will hold together and the end result will be that of a complete story.

Breaking Down Storybeats

One of the more powerful features of Subtxt is the ability to breakdown Storybeats into their smaller units of dramatic progression. Transits break down into Progressions, while Progressions break down into Events.

You will find the Breakdown button for each Storybeat at the base of the Storybeat window. Select the Breakdown (either Progressions or Events) and then choose whether you want Subtxt AI to generate Storytelling within each Beat OR if you would rather it just provide the Beats without Storytelling. Selecting the former will call the appropriate Agent and return you to the Building screen as the AI illustrates this part of your story.

When the Agents complete their work, you will find the Storybeats beneath and within their parent Storybeat. You are always free to then go in and adjust the Storytelling, and even create different versions of each Storybeat to suit your imagination.

Note

The term "Breakdown" comes from my experience working in the animation industry. Supervising animators would first draw "key poses"--those poses key to communicating a certain bit of acting--and then hand off the scene to an assistant animator to "breakdown" the poses. These in-between poses would help bring the scene to life by giving the key poses fluidity and flow.

Same thing with the Breakdown Storybeats in Subtxt.

Think of Storybeat Breakdowns as the progression of the story within a specific Storybeat. If a particular Storybeat tells you that your characters are learning something (a Transit of Learning), then how they go about learning is covered step-by-step by the Storybeat Breakdowns (in this case, a set of four Progressions).

It's up to you, the writer, to determine how much you want to go into detail for your story.

The Tendencies of the Medium

If you're writing a screenplay, you likely won't need to breakdown the Transits for the Obstacle Character or the Relationship Story Throughlines. In fact, we strongly suggest you don't.

A Complete Story with a Typical Arrangement for Most Feature Films

On the other hand, if you're writing a novel, or longform television series, breaking down Transits and Progressions will give you the material and inspiration you need to fill in your story's larger storytelling real estate.

A Complete Story with All Transits, Progressions, and Events

If you're writing a short story, we absolutely recommend you don't breakdown any of the Transits. In fact, you're probably best served turning off some Throughlines. You can learn more in our section on Writing Short Stories.

Deleting a Breakdown Storybeat

Occasionally, you may find that the Breakdown Storybeats are too detailed for your story. You may only want one or two of these breakdowns. This is a perfectly legit approach and won't disrupt the integrity of your narrative.

Note

Think of your narrative as a range of mountain peaks. Sure, you can zoom in and see the trees and the rocks and maybe a bear or two, but if you leave out a bear or even a couple trees, you'll still see a mountain. Same thing with your story--the initial 'big' Storybeats are far more important than the smaller Breakdown Beats when communicating your story's Dramatic Argument.

You delete a smaller Storybeat the same way you delete the larger ones. Select "Edit" at the top of the Storybeat tab and then tap the red "minus" icon to the left of the Storybeat.

If a larger parent Storybeat contains smaller children Storybeats, Subtxt will ask you ahead of time if you want to erase those Storybeats as well. Note that once you delete a Storybeat, any and all storytelling attached to it will be lost.

The Parts of a Storybeat

When you first encounter a Storybeat, you will find it in its collapsed state. The Appreciation of the Storybeat (e.g., Objective Story Transit 1) will be accompanied by the Method of conflict explored (e.g., Conceptualizing). In the example below, this indicates that this part of the story will focus on the ramifications for everyone when conflict focuses on visualizing or manipulating or scheming.

To the right, you will find four quick actions that you can use to interact with this Storybeat:

  • Summarize Storybeat allows you to replace the more abstract and theoretical Method with a "human"-readable title. Clicking it summarizes what you have written in the Storytelling section.
  • Duplicate Storybeat copies the current Storybeat's Thematic components and generates a new random Illustration.
  • Jump to Plotting does just that--it jumps to the Plotting stage where this Storybeat appears in the narrative.
  • Edit Storybeat opens and collapses the Storybeat for editing.

The Illustration

Just below the top section of the Storybeat, you will find an Illustration of the Method (e.g., visualizing a new way of dealing with one's life). This Illustration is a bridge between the Storyform and the beginnings of the Storytelling in your narrative.

Note

Remember that Subtxt differentiates between the meaning of a story and the superficial Storytelling that sits on top to provide that meaning to your Audience.

These Illustrations are meant to be an introduction to this kind of thinking.

There are many ways of illustrating Conceptualizing in a story. Select the Illustration to see a few:

Subtxt maintains an active and evolving database of Illustrations aligned with the model contained within the Subtxt Narrative Framework. What you see here in the dropdown is just a short window into the tens of thousands of Illustrations available to every Method.

Altering an Illustration

You are not stuck with a particular Illustration for a Storybeat, only the subtext of that Storybeat (the Method). In the example above, you don't have to make the first Act of your Objective Story all about "visualizing a new way of dealing with one's life", but you do have to make it about the problems incurred through Conceptualizing. You can switch it to "outlining something" or "designing something" or "planning a cultural revolution" as these are all valid Illustrations of conflict manifested through Conceptualizing.

You can also try your hand at coming up with a new Illustration of Conceptualizing by typing it directly into the box at the top of the dropdown. If you enter an Illustration that is not a part of the current collection, you can submit it to Subtxt AI for review. If approved, Subtxt will add it to your narrative and you can begin developing the rest of the Storybeat.

If declined, you will have to find another Illustration that stays thematically aligned with the concept of the Method attached to this Storybeat.

Privatizing an Illustration

If your Illustration is accepted, you do have the option of making that Illustration Private at the time of creation. Once added to your Storybeat, you will see a padlock icon located just to the right of your Illustration. Lock the icon in order to keep this Illustration private to your account.

Important

Illustrations of Storybeats and Storytelling are the only thing we train on when it comes to improving the experience within Subtxt. As these Illustrations are often general and not story-specific (that is found more often in the Storytelling section), we find the capability to add these Illustrations to the global knowledgebase an extremely beneficial use-case for all Authors.

If you would like to keep your Illustrations private at all times, visit your Preferences in your Profile to make that selection permanent.

Random Illustration

At the far end of the Illustration section, you will find a "shuffle" button. If you’re not “feeling” the Illustration of a particular Storybeat, you can turn to Subtxt to randomly suggest appropriate Storytelling for a particular Beat.

By selecting Random Illustration Subtxt will automatically reach into its extensive vault of comparable Storytelling ideas and present you an alternate way of thinking of that Storybeat.

Remember that the structure that forms the foundation for a Storybeat is not “random”—it’s specific and essential towards communicating the story’s Dramatic Argument. The Illustrations on top are the icing on the cake—they can change and alter while still saying the same thing.

Note

The Random Illustration button is a means to change the color or consistency of the icing on your story cake. It’s also a great way to spark your creativity and send your story off in an entirely new direction.

Writing Prompt

Just below the Illustration you will find a Writing Prompt engineered to help you get to the root of trouble within this Storybeat (e.g., How do the characters find conflict in Conceptualizing).

If you find yourself struggling with the answer, feel free to select the Teach AI located just to the right of the Writing Prompt. This AI will take into account Storytelling you have already created for the narrative as well as examples from its extensive knowledge-base before returning an in-context answer for you.

Teach AI will return with an expanded Writing Prompt:

as well as an in-depth explanation of what should appear during this Storybeat:

If you find yourself still struggling, you can always select the Develop button located at the bottom of the Subtext explanation to collaborate with Muse on this topic.

Storytelling

Below the Writing Prompt you will find the Storytelling box. This is where you enter in your illustrated version of this Storybeat in action. Remember, that these are notes for you the Author--not the Audience. You are not writing your story, but rather, writing what the meaning of your story.

If you find yourself struggling to come up with effective Storytelling, select the Brainstorming AI button just below the Storytelling box for assistance.

Metadata

At the very bottom, you will find the metadata of the Storybeat. This includes a repeat of the Scope and position of the Storybeat within the narrative (e.g., Transit 1), a Breakdown button if applicable, and a set of Thematic Tones relevant to this Storybeat.

Thematic Cycles

As with astrology and its idea of planets exhibiting certain properties within the context of alternating Zodiac signs, or the Mayan calendar and its concept of resonances between the thirteen galactic tones of the moon and the twenty solar seals of the Sun, so do the Storybeats of a complete narrative resonate with the shifting aspects of the mind.

In the above example, one would read the Thematic Cycles as: "The Storybeat of Conceptualizing appears as a Situation that sets the Potential for Growth through an Expression of narrative conflict."

This combination of appreciation and vibration frequency offers a complete understanding of narrative for both Author and Audience.

Note

The Premise, or argument, of a narrative sets the progression of a mind as it encounters inequity (through Transits, Progressions, and Events). The Tonal Aspects of each Thematic Cycle resonate the frequency and vibration of each experience along the way.

Tonal Aspects of a Thematic Cycle

  • Material: the makeup, or composition, of a Storybeat
  • Abstraction: the conceptual illustration of the Storybeat
  • Spatial: the relation of a Storybeat to others in context of its parent Thematic Cycle
  • Temporal: a measure of growth

The Material Tone

The first and most important aspect of any Storybeat is the Material Tone (e.g., the Method of the Storybeat). Tied to a specific scope and location within the model of the Storymind, this Tone reveals the key component of Theme in a Storybeat.

If all else fails, as long as the Author finds a way to bring this element of Theme into their Illustration, the Storybeat will resonate soundly with the rest of the narrative.

The Abstraction Tone

The Abstraction Tone of a Storybeat opens the doorway from structural intent to an illustration of storytelling. If the Material tone determines what the Storybeat is about, the Abstraction sets how the Storybeat appears in a narrative.

  • a Situation, or a series of situations
  • an Activity, or a series of activities
  • a dysfunctional Mentality, or manners of thinking
  • a Standpoint, or a series of fixed attitudes

The Spatial Tone

Rarely does a Storybeat resonate in isolation, or apart from other Storybeats. The Spatial Tone rings with sibling Storybeats through the analogy of an electric circuit, operating as a Dramatic Circuit:

  • Potential is a latent tendency toward some attitude or action.
  • Resistance is a tendency toward inertia.
  • Current is the flow of a process.
  • Power is the effect of a process.

The Temporal Tone

Though seemingly distinct in presentation, the Temporal Tones of a Storybeat resonate with consistent vibration of growth. That said, there can be faint whispers as to the experience of this growth if the writer listens closely enough.

  • Expression is the initial expression of conflict on a temporal axis (3D on 4D)
  • Experimentation is the experience of that new expression
  • Integration is a coalescence of that experience into the framework of the perspective (Throughline)
  • Transcendence is a recognition of a giving, or transference, in tandem with a surrender towards growth, and an elevation towards the next expression

The quality of these Temporal Tones resonating as growth while simultaneously communicating the essence of a cycle can be seen in this visualization.

The transition of Storybeats across the spectrum of Throughlines is how the Reader/Audience member begins to integrate the understanding of conflict expressed by the Author. The Storyform is a fourth-dimensional experience of the third-dimensional argument (or Premise).

Illustrating the Thematic Cycle of a Storybeat

In Subtxt, these Tonal Aspects are presented in a left-to-right predominance order, i.e. the first Aspects are the important to the meaning of the story, with those on the right important, but less essential.

The first Tone will always be the Material. The third Tone will always be the Spatial. The second and fourth Tones will shift to accommodate the Mental Sex of a story.

Under most circumstances, writers would be best served by ONLY focusing on the first two Tonal aspects of a Storybeat.

Note

The order of Tonal Aspects switches given the Mental Sex of a story. Male Mental Sex stories see the Abstraction of a Storybeat as relatively more important, or more obvious, than the Temporal. For the Female Mental Sex, the Temporal Aspect is given precedence over the Abstraction. You'll note this reality in the order of each given the Mental Sex. In a Male Mental Sex story, the order of Tonal Aspects for a given quad will always be Growth, Expansion, Transformation, and Transcendence. For the Female Mental Sex stories, the order of Abstraction aspects will always be Situation, Activity, Mentality, and Standpoint.

The Vibration of a Male Mental Sex Storybeat

In a Male Mental Sex story, the order is Material, Abstraction, Spatial, and Temporal. The Male Mental Sexed mind gives preference to substance and composition before even considering the placement of a consideration along a timeline. In fact, for most Male Mental Sex stories that Author can forget or dial down the need to incorporate the Temporal Tone.

The Vibrations of a Male Mental Sex Storybeat

The Thematic Cycles of the above example are:

  • Material: Conceptualizing
  • Abstraction: Situation
  • Spatial: Potential
  • Temporal: Expression

A quick way to read both the Material and Abstraction Tones of a Storybeat in a Male Mental Sex story is:

How does MATERIAL appear as ABSTRACTION?

Or, in the example above: "How does Conceptualizing appear as a Situation?" Clearly, Nathan's invite for Caleb to join him at his estate sets up an inescapable Situation based in large part to his scheming behind the scenes.

Asking yourself this question while generating ideas for your Storybeat will ensure that your Illustrations ring true with the mind of your story.

The Vibration of a Female Mental Sex Storybeat

In a Female Mental Sex story, the order is Material, Temporal, Spatial, and Abstraction. To the Female Mental Sex mind, Abstraction is the least important and often most inconsequential consideration of an inequity. They can never know for sure if an Abstraction is accurate or validated, and therefore prefers the wavelike consistency of the Temporal Tones.

The Vibrations of a Female Mental Sex Storybeat

A quick way for the Female Mental Sex to read the Tonal Aspects of a Storybeat is:

How does MATERIAL grow through TEMPORAL?

Or, in the example above: "How does Memory grow through Expression?"

In this way, the Author of the Female Mental Sex story accounts for that which is most important: growth for growth's sake.

The Basis of Creativity

While fascinating and hopefully inspiring when it comes to generating imaginative ideas for the individual Storybeats of your story, do not get caught up in capturing each and every Tone as if your story depended on it.

"Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced." - Jacobus Johannes van der Leeuw

Allow a little mystery into your writing as you develop your story with Subtxt--this will keep the life in it.

Above all, do not obsess over writing the perfect Storybeat. These Tonal Aspects and Writing Prompts are meant to ignite and light fire to your creativity, not douse it.

Leave the writing for the writing.

Managing Storybeats

Illustrating Storybeats is one thing, managing them as you move from one to the next is quite another. Subtxt provides some simple tools to help you manage the workload.

Entering Edit Mode and Deleting Storybeats

In order to make it easier to avoid making any mistakes while working on your story, Subtxt hides the Delete Storybeat button during normal use. In order to enter the Edit Mode and delete Storybeats, you first need to click Edit at the top of the page. When you do that, the Red delete buttons will scroll into place on the left side of each Storybeat.

As simple as it sounds—click here to remove this Storybeat from your story permanently. You’ll be presented with a warning, but once it’s gone, it’s gone for good.

Important

You CANNOT delete the last Storybeat for a particular Throughline within an Act. To do so would result in an incomplete story, bereft of meaning and substance. If you want to break your story, you’ll have to do it outside of the confines of Subtxt.

If the Storybeat in question has been broken down into smaller Beats, you will have first to remove those smaller Beats. Then you can lose that bigger Storybeat.

Leaving Edit Mode

Once you’ve completed your changes, click or tap Done and the Storybeats view will return to its original state. Note that it is not essential to touch Done to save your changes—as with all things in Subtxt, the moment you make a change, your actions are recorded and saved to your story.

Duplicating a Storybeat

When brainstorming ideas for Storybeats in a particular Throughline, you may find yourself wanting to duplicate the current Storybeat so that you can keep track a thematically similiar-Beat that might end up in a different part of your story. Theoretically, this is perfectly acceptable behavior--especially in context of the Objective Story Throughline where several Players may illustrate their version of a Storybeat. Just know that too much of a good thing is not good for your Audience, and that if you repeat a Storybeat too much, you risk "hitting the Audience over the head" with your theme. 😊

To Duplicate a Storybeat, tap the Duplicate Storybeat button located at the top of the Storybeat.

Subtxt will then duplicate the important thematic aspects of this Storybeat, not the specific Storytelling or Subtext. You can then decide what to copy over, or start over fresh with a brand-new idea.

Crafting Thematically Consistent Stories

Let's make your story come to life!

One common question we often receive from our beloved users is related to duplicating storybeats in Subtxt. You might be wondering something along the lines of:

"When I copied these gray boxes to add beats, it puts something like 'Illustration of Learning - schooling a group'. But it was 'Learning - gathering intelligence' in the one above. Do those matter?"

The answer, my friend, is yes, they do matter.

In Subtxt, every detail is intricately designed to help you craft a compelling and thematically consistent story. When you duplicate a Storybeat, Subtxt generates a new "Illustration of Learning," which you might notice, is slightly different from the one before. This is no accident.

"Why does Subtxt change the 'Illustration of Learning'?"

Think of it this way: within each Act, the Beats should revolve around a central theme. In this case, our theme is 'Learning'. However, there are many ways to depict or illustrate 'Learning'. Subtxt gives you a helping hand by randomly picking an illustration of that theme.

This is not just a neat trick, but a powerful tool to stimulate your creativity, sparking new ideas while keeping them aligned with the overall theme of your story.

"How can I customize these Illustrations?"

You're not just stuck with what Subtxt gives you. You can absolutely tailor it to fit your story better!

When you see the randomly generated illustration, you can click it to see a range of alternative illustrations. If you're feeling extra creative, you can even input your own illustration.

Just remember, it should match the idea of 'Learning'. Subtxt will verify your idea and if it aligns with the theme, you can use it in your Storybeat! If not, don't worry – it's a chance to dive back into your imagination to come up with something else that fits better.

Expanding and Collapsing Storybeats

You can expand a Storybeat to examine its contents by selecting the Edit button. Select it again to collapse the Storybeat.

While opening and closing individual Storybeats may help you maintain a global understanding of your current Throughline, you may find it helpful to open all the Storybeats of a particular narrative at once.

You will find that option at the top of the Throughline View under the Details button (the 3 dots).

Expanding and Collapsing Storybeats

Subtxt will remember which beats you have left opened and close. When you return to your story they will be there waiting for you.