The Storybeats of the Objective Story Throughline

Opening the Storybeats tab of the Objective Story Throughline, we find our initial list of four Transits (in gray) listed in the order they appear within the Storyform interspersed with the five Story Drivers (in orange).

The Objective Story Throughline Storybeats of Whiplash

Transits in Subtxt are the closest thing you will find to Acts. There is a very good reason why they aren't simply referred to as Acts, but for now know that these Storybeats are the temporal progression of your story's narrative.

In the above example from Whiplash, the Objective Story progresses through these four Transits: Being, Becoming, Conceptualizing, and Conceiving. These line up with the order predicted by Subtxt's narrative model in the Storyform:

The Order of Transits in the Objective Story

The order of events carries meaning. This order of Being, Becoming, Conceptualizing, and Conceiving are absolutely essential for conveying the message of Whiplash to the Audience. With Subtxt, these Transits are locked into this order to keep you from breaking the integrity of the narrative structure.

The Meaning Behind the Order of Storybeats

The reason why addressing all four of these Transits is so necessary, and why doing them in this order is even more valuable, is because the mind of the Story (essentially, the mind of an Audience member appreciating the story) is looking for the source of inequity in the current narrative.

Note the over-arching Objective Story Throughline Domain of Psychology. Whiplash is a story where the ways of thinking (or Psychologies) of the Players drive the conflict of the narrative. Being, Becoming, Conceptualizing, and Conceiving describe the four different ways our minds appreciate a conflict of Psychology.

Until we see all four aspects, we can never be sure exactly where the conflict lies. So, we step into Being and examine conflict in that context. Once that is thoruoughly exhausted, we move onto Becoming. And then once that is finished we move on to Conceptualizing and then Conceiving. Not until we've reached the fourth and final context and looked at all the different ways Psychology can show up as a problem can we for sure identify the source of conflict, and therefore a means by which to resolve it.

This need to address all four contexts of a certain kind of conflict is why Acts exist in a story. It's not simply to organize things off into a beginning, middle, and end. Acts are really an effort by the writer of the story to intutively address these various areas of our minds.

The Difference Between Story Drivers and Storybeats

With the Objective Story Throughline view, Subtxt also encourages writers to think of the Story Drivers in-between the four Transits. Known colloquially as "plot points," these Drivers push or pull a narrative from one Act into the next.

The Objective Story Throughline Storybeats of Whiplash

A Story Driver is NOT a Storybeat.

When you transition from the Throughline view into the Scenes view, these Story Drivers drop out and are hidden from your consideration. A Story Driver is a Dynamic appreciation of the meaning of a story. A Storybeat is a Static appreciation of the same story. A Storybeat describes the things of a narrative, a Dynamic illustrates the relationship between things.

Use the Story Drivers here to help frame your work in the Objective Story Throughline. Let them guide you into a better understanding of how one Transit evolves into the next.

Writers familiar with the Dramatica theory of story will recognize the Story Drivers as the place where they often fall into the argument over whether or not a story is one of 'Actions driving decisions' or 'Decisions driving actions.' Whatever you do, don't fall into this trap of overthinking things. The Story Drivers eventually drop out of consideration when it comes to writing a story and are, for the most part, self-evident as you develop your story.

In a Female Mental Sex story, the Story Drivers of the Objective Story Throughline will not be present even here in the Throughline view. As a Female Mental Sex story is organized around the balance of inequities rather than problems and solutions, identifying the cause and effect relationship of Storybeats runs contradictory to the nature of that kind of story.

Do not concern yourself with Story Drivers in a Female Mental Sex story. You will be looking for something that is anti-thetical to this kind of story.

Connecting the Problem of a Story to the Story Drivers

When you open up a Story Driver in the Objective Story Throughline view, you'll be presented with a writing prompt engineered to call to mind the meaning of your story:

Illustrating a Story Driver in Subtxt

Aligning the Story Drivers with the Objective Story Problem helps give extra added meaning to these important shifts in your narrative. While theoretically this relationship is not a hard and fast rule, writers will find making this connection beneficial to their storytelling.

If you'd like another random Illustration, or you would like to replace the simple Problem Element with a Storytelling Illustration, click the Random Illustration button on the far right.

You can also tap on the Illustration itself, and select one more appropriate for your story.

Choosing an Alternate Illustration for a Story Driver

In the above example from Whiplash, switching the Illustration from "causing anxiety amongst guests" to "inciting a group to do something" seems more appropriate for the film. Although, one can see how Fletcher's behavior in the practice room is just as much "causing anxiety" as it is "inciting" the group. This is the power and unique feature of writing a story with Subtxt: the underlying structure remains consistent and solid, while the specific Storytelling on top is up to the artist's sensibilities.

Structure without shackles.

The Initial Story Driver of Whiplash

Initial Story Driver

Whiplash

Fletcher rules the practice room with an abusive fist. His physical and verbal abuse force the musicians under his watch into an important, life-altering decision: stay and accept the awful manipulations, or quit never to return. His abuse of Andrew during the kid's first performance of "Whiplash" leads Andrew to stay in it to win it, no matter what.

The Ending of a Story and the Final Story Driver

In regards to the final Story Driver, a narrative with a Story Outcome of Success finds the Objective Story Solution replacing the Objective Story Problem (this is what guarantees that Success). To reflect this understanding, Subtxt exchanges the Problem for Solution in Success stories.

The Final Story Driver of a Success Story

In the above example from Whiplash, Andrew sucessfully resolves the Objective Story Throughline Plot when he marches back onstage and performs his extended drum solo. The Effect of his playing on the Audience guarantees a nod from Fletcher, cueing a Story Outcome of Success (achieving the Story Goal of Being).

The Final Story Driver of Whiplash

Concluding Story Driver

Whiplash

Andrew marches back onstage and performs "Caravan," cueing the band to play with him. The positive effect this action has on the Audience guarantees a nod of approval from Fletcher.

In a narrative with a Story Outcome of Failure, the Objective Story Problem persists, and the Objective Story Solution fails to resolve the inequity of the story. Subtxt recognizes this relationship by keeping the Problem Element at the heart of the final Story Driver.

The Concluding Story Driver of a Failure Story

In the above example, the story in question ends in Failure because the Problem of Temptation persists (and Conscience fails to save the day). This dynamic of narrative Elements occurs in the thriller, se7en.

The Concluding Story Driver of Se7en

Mills' act of vengeance on John Doe persists the Objective Story Problem of Temptation, ending the story in Tragedy. If he had instead held back and listened to Somerset's warnings, Mills would have engaged in the Solution of Conscience which would have foiled John Doe's plans and ended the story in Success.

Mills didn't, and instead engages in an Action that insures the presence of the Story Consequence.

Concluding Story Driver

se7en

Despite warnings from Somerset, an enraged Mills can't resist John Doe's temptations to seek vengeance and shoots him several times, fulfilling the serial killer's plans.

Subtxt AI and the Story Drivers

Subtxt AI can help you come up with some ideas for Story Drivers throughout your Objective Story Throughline:

Examples of Story Drivers from Subtxt AI

The suggestions incorporate both the Story Driver itself (either an Action that drives decisions, or a Decision that drives actions) and the Objective Story Problem.

For the final Story Driver, Subtxt AI looks to the Story Outcome to determine whether it should focus on the Solution (a Story Outcome of Success), or on the Problem (a Story Outcome of Failure).

Understanding Goal and Consequence

Both the Story Goal and the Story Consequence work as polarizing forces throughout the entirety of the Objective Story Throughline plot.

The Story Goal of se7en

The Story Consequence of se7en

In the above example from Se7en, the Story Goal of Obtaining works against the Story Consequence of Becoming. As the Protagonist, Detective Lt. Somerset pursues and considers the Goal of apprehending John Doe.

Story Goal of Obtaining

se7en

Both Detective Lt. Somerset and Detective Mills set out to pursue and apprehend the serial killer John Doe before the murderer can complete his task.

The Antagonist, serial killer John Doe, prevents and reconsiders that Goal and is aligned with showing how far humanity has devolved.

Story Consequence of Becoming

se7en

John Doe's plan is to use the seven deadly sins found in The Bible to shock the world out of apathy. As far as he is concerned, his victims deserved to die; he's only the messenger sent to show how far humanity has devolved.

To help you craft your Objective Story Throughline, Subtxt presents the storytelling from your Story Outcome Plot Dynamic at the end of the Objective Story Throughline View.

The Story Outcome at the End of the OS Storybeats

This reminder of the Story Outcome should help you bring your story to a meaningful ending consistent with your story's message.

© 2022 Narrative First, Inc.