Storypoints

Storypoints are static appreciations preset throughout an entire narrative. Theoretically, they should appear at least once per Act, though that is a generalization moreso than a hard and fast rule.

The Parts of a Storypoint in Subtxt

The Open/Close button allows you to open and collapse the Storypoint for editing.

Subtxt separates the Subtext of a Storypoint from Storytelling. Storytelling is how the Storypoint appears in your story, and it's what your Audience will see or read or hear. Subtext is what drives this Storypoint behind the scenes and is for you, the Author, to better understand the Storypoint in context of the current narrative.

Storytelling

General Illustration is the Subtxt-assigned Storytelling for this Storypoint. It can be modified through the dropdown menu or by submitting your idea for an Illustration.

The Dropdown Selection Menu for a Storypoint Illustration

Story-specific is where you can build on top of the General Illustration without having to wait for your submission to be approved.

Random Illustration shuffles through the thousands of available example illustrations of the current Storypoint.

Worldbuilding is where you can attach various story ideas to the Storypoint. These Worldbuildings are completely separate from structure, and are provided for the purpose of expanding the Storytelling (and imagination of the AI).

Subtext

The bottom half defines the underlying meaning of the Storypoint, as well as providing educational material in the form of theoretical definitions and examples of the Storypoint in action in other narratives.

The Type describes the kind of Storypoint currently open.

The Method describes the narrative Method, or process, this Storypoint plays within a narrative.

Mentor Help provides a detailed explanation of the Storypoint.

Examples and Illustrations scans the Subtxt database for other stories that share the same Storypoint.

Looking to other examples of the Storypoint in action can be the very best way to learn how to use this Storypoint in your story.

Subtxt AI for Storypoints

There are two Subtxt AI buttons on a Storypoint card: Brainstorming AI and Subtxt AI. Tapping the Brainstorming AI button tells Subtxt you want to dive right into your story, and skip all the complex elements of the narrative. Pressing the Subtxt AI button asks Subtxt to generate an understanding of the Storypoint before any specific storytelling has been added to it.

There is nothing wrong with either approach, and which one you select is up to your preference. We suggest starting with the Brainstorming, then moving to the Subtext, and then moving into the Storytelling to combine the best ideas from both.

Brainstorming AI for Storypoints

Subtxt offers both a General Illustration and a Story-specific Illustration for every Storypoint. If you don't understand the difference between the two, make sure you read the section on General and Story-specific Illustrations in the Key Concepts section.

The example below is a story built from Aliens. The Main Character Problem in that film for Ripley is desire. While the original General Illustration set by Subtxt was "aspiring to something," if we were to try and write the same film we might set the General Illustration to "longing for something" and the follow-up Story-specific Illustration to "longing for the daughter one never had".

Setting the Illustrations of a Storypoint

You may wonder why the objectivity in writing the Story-specific Illustration. Why didn't we write, "longing for the daughter she never had." When writing Story-specific Illustrations it's always a good idea to maintain that objective look at conflict, rather than getting caught up in the details of Storytelling. If you leave those details for Worldbuilding and keep the Story-specific closer to what you see in the General Illustration, you will find that you get better results from the AI.

Once set, we tap the Brainstorming AI button at the top of the Storypoint card to request a set of varied responses.

An Example of Subtxt Generating Storytelling

Scanning the response, several of the options would work well for a story about someone personally struggling with that longing for a daughter. To add one selection to Storytelling, tap the "Add" button (with the heart) and Subtxt automatically copies the information into the proper location.

Adding an AI Response to Storytelling

From here, you could move on to the next Storypoint confident with the knowledge that this particular area of the narrative has been effectively illustrated.

You could also continue to add a couple of these ideas if you like several of them. While an illustration of the Main Character Problem could be based on just one idea, it is a Storypoint that exists in every Transit (Act). You could have several different illustrations of the Main Character Problem as the base Element of desire is what brings them all together. Your Audience will continue to appreciate the meaning of your story because the Subtext of the Storypoint remains consistent.

Adding Several Ideas to a Storypoint

Once all the ideas have been added, you can then Merge them together into one idea by tapping the Merge button located just below the Storytelling box.

Merging Several Ideas to a Storypoint

If we like the suggestion for a Merged understanding of the Storytelling, we can then tap the Replace button to bring all the Brainstormed ideas into one cohesive idea.

Merged Ideas to a Storypoint

With that, we now have an effective understanding of how this Main Character Problem will show up in our story. We could continue on to other Storypoints, knowing that this one was well covered. If instead, something deeper and more in-depth was wanted, we could just scroll down to the Subtext section located beneath the Storytelling.

Subtxt AI for Storypoints

To ask Subtxt to help explain the meaning behind this particular Storypoint, without all the Storytelling, tap the Subtxt AI button located within the Subtext section of the Storypoint.

An Example of Subtxt AI Generating Subtext

Note the objective nature of the Subtext compared to the more "colorful" direct nature of the Storytelling. Mixing the specifics of a story with the nature of a Storypoint can sometimes blur the line too much between substance and source.

Selecting a Subtext response by tapping the Add button adds it to the Subtext section of the Storypoint.

The Subtext and Storytelling of a Storypoint

The above example is a great showcase of the difference between subtext and storytelling. The Subtext is what the Storypoint is all about, and the Storytelling is how the Storypoint will appear in this particular story.

Note too, the "up arrow" that now appears next to the Subtxt AI button. This is the Surface Storytelling option available in all Storypoints. Tapping this button directs Subtxt to generate Storytelling from the Subtext.

Surfacing Subtext into Storytelling

Note the difference between these results and the first example of results from simply tapping the Brainstorming AI button. The responses are quite similar, but way more in-depth than the first go-round.

To take advantage of both responses, tap the Add button to combine the Subtxt AI response with the Brainstorming AI response.

Adding a Subtext Response to Storytelling

Once added, you can again merge the two response together into one by tapping the Merge button located at the bottom right-hand corner of the Storytelling.

Merging Subtext with Storytelling

Subtxt takes the best of both ideas and combines them into one.

We don't need to merge the ideas together, but it can be easier to keep track of the meaning behind every Storypoint when you focus on simple Storytelling.

It's best to keep your illustrations brief and specific in Subtxt. The clearer you can be, the better your story will flow.

Here is the completed Storypoint example with both Storytelling and Subtext in place.

A Completed Storypoint with both Subtext and Storytelling

Once finished, you can move on to any other Storypoint and repeat the same process.

Explanations and Examples for Storypoints

Subtxt offers two methods for better understanding how a Storypoint works in your story. One is the Mentor Help button (the question mark), and the other is the Examples & Illustrations button (the info mark).

Tapping the question mark button brings up a detailed description of what this Storypoint accomplishes in a complete narrative.

Accessing Help within a Storypoint

Tapping the information mark button brings up an example of how this Storypoint appears in another story.

An Example of Desire as a MC Problem in Blade Runner: 2049

Here, we see that the Main Character Problem of desire that lay at the foundation of Ripley's Main Character Throughline in Aliens is also the Main Character Problem for K in Blade Runner: 2049. Same Element of Motivation, vastly different Storytelling (but still referring back to that inequity of desire as a Problem).

Main Character Problem of desire

Blade Runner: 2049

K is tired of being alone and yearns for companionship. He has always been told that replicants were emotionless creatures, incapable of experiencing love or any other human emotions. But K found that he could not help but feel emotions, even though he knew he shouldn't. He must learn to take risks and open himself up to the possibility of pain in order to find the happiness he desires. K is rejected by other replicants and longs for companionship. K's love goes unrequited and leads to tragedy.

"Copy Illustration" will transfer the example Illustration here into the Storytelling for the Storypoint. "Next" and "Prev" scroll through other examples containing the same Main Character Problem Element of desire.

An Example of Desire as a MC Problem in The Prestige

Here again, we see that desire also drives the Main Character Problem of desire in The Prestige. While all three films (Aliens, Blade Runner: 2049, and The Prestige) share the same core Main Character Problem of desire they do differ in other areas of narrative. They are very very similiar--but not completely alike.

Main Character Problem of desire

The Prestige

Robert Angiers is driven to be someone who is always the best. This need to be the best often leads him to be competitive and sometimes even ruthless in his pursuit of success. He strived for years to make a name for himself in the entertainment industry, and though he achieved some level of fame, he always felt like he could have done more. This drove him to keep pushing himself, and it often led to him making poor decisions in his personal life. He neglected his relationships, his health, and his own happiness in pursuit of his career goals. Though he achieved a great deal of success, it came at a great cost.

If you find yourself unsure of how a Storypoint should play out in your particular story, watch or read any of the examples listed below the Storypoint and see how it was successfully illustrated in a completed work.

© 2022 Narrative First, Inc.