The Storypoints of the Objective Story Throughline
The Objective Story Throughline is where the Author explores what is commonly known as the "Plot" of a story. This perspective appreciates conflict from an objective point-of-view. Characters are perceived as functions (Protagonist and Antagonist), and the twin Story Dynamics of Outcome and Driver help convey part of the story's overall meaning.
The Objective Story Throughline View offers Synopsis, Storypoints, Story Dynamics, and Storybeats.
The Synopsis is where you keep the bird's eye view overall understanding of what the Objective Story Throughline is all about in your story. When it comes to writing with Subtxt AI, this is the most important section as the AI will look here first to get a better understanding of what your intentions are for this Throughline.
When you tap the AI "Summarize Throughline" button in the Objective Story Throughline, Subtxt will search through all the Storypoints in your Objective Story Throughline to build a short synopsis of the conflict from this point-of-view. While Subtxt can create a synopsis before you explore these important Storypoints, you will find much better results if you illustrate those first and then come back here to summarize everything.
When it comes to Summarizing your Objective Story Throughline, it's important that you have at least one "Group" of Players listed in the Players section of your story. If you just have a long list of individual Players, or characters in your story, Subtxt will have a difficult time objectifying them and classifying them in such a way that it can build an effective synopsis.
Typically, these Groups break out into two: a set of "good" Players, and a set of "bad" Players, typically aligned with either the Protagonist or Antagonist, respectively. You don't have to have two different Groups, but if you can start thinking in those terms it can help you move away from the headspace of being inside the characters when really you should be outside looking down at them (from the Objective Story point-of-view).
Once Subtxt AI returns your Synopsis, you are always free to edit the Illustration directly inline within this view.
The Storypoints available for the Objective Story Throughline are:
- Objective Story Domain
- Objective Story Concern
- Objective Story Issue
- Objective Story Problem
- Story Goal
- Story Consequence
In addition, Subtxt adds the Plot Dynamic of the Story Outcome which you can find under the Story Dynamics tab.
The Story Goal and the Story Consequence are key Storypoints for the Objective Story Throughline. If you want to make life easy for yourself, illustrate these before you move on to the Storybeats as they will set the narrative drive for your entire story.
To add a Storypoint to your story, click the gold Illustrate button.
The above example illustrates the Story Goal of Whiplash. Everyone in that story revolves around a shared common goal of being perfect (Story Goal of Being).
Story Goal of Being
WhiplashThe common goal for the musicians in Whiplash is to be as perfect as they possibly can be when it comes to keeping up with everyone else.
The Story Consequence balances out the efforts towards resolving the story's inequity that sits within the Story Goal.
Story Consequence of Doing
WhiplashWhen not perfect, Terence lets every musician know that their time in the room is over by doing something destructive. Whether by throwing cymbals or upending chairs, the consequence of failing to be perfect is ending up doing something destructive (like flipping a car over on the way to an important performance).
Remember that these Storypoints are for the Author, not the Audience, nor the characters. Theoretically, characters are not aware of Goals or Consequences--whether or not they sing about them is entirely up to the Author.😊
An objective point-of-view is just that: an objective point-of-view FROM the perspective of the Author. The Players aren't in control of whether or not the story ends in Success or Failure, and more importantly: what that Outcome means to your story.
If you find yourself struggling to make a certain Storypoint work, it's often a sign that you have yet to define that Storybeat, Storypoint, or Story Dynamic in a way that is consistent and integral to the argument you are making with your story.
The Objective Story Problem is the one source of all trouble within the Objective Story Throughline. While individual Players may have their own experience with objective sources of conflict, the one thing that ties them all together thematically is this Objective Story Problem.
In the above example from Whiplash, an imbalance of Cause (looking for, and arguing over the cause of trouble) drives all of the conflict in the Objective Story Throughline. Later, when it is discovered the root cause of Fletcher's early retirement, the focus is on the one responsible for the termination rather than the potential for greatness in that one who could make (cause) everything to resolve in success.
Objective Story Problem of Cause
WhiplashWhen it comes to playing in the Shaffer Conservatory Studio Band, the one thing you don't want to be is the one to blame for not playing perfectly. Once discovered, bandleader Terence Fletcher will tear into you and verbally abuse you in front of everyone that you will want nothing more than to disappear.
The illustration of this Element plays a signficiant role in Subtxt's AI services. As well as helping to focus and center the Objective Story Synopsis, a creative and clearly defined Objective Story Problem also helps to color the individual Story Drivers responsible for moving the narrative from one Act to the next.
The Objective Story Solution is the quality of your story that will satisfy and resolve conflict within the Objective Story Throughline.
Objective Story Solution of Effect
WhiplashTerrence improves the effectiveness of Andrew's set by resetting the cymbal. This generous act insures a fruitful performance.
In some stories, the Objective Story Solution arrives late in the last Transit to resolve the conflict resulting from the Objective Story Problem. These stories possess a Story Outcome of Success. In other stories, the Objective Story Solution fails to arrive with enough presence to override and dampen the Objective Story Problem. These narratives, and the lack of a strong enough Objective Story Solution, signfiy a Story Outcome of Failure.
The Story Outcome is a Plot Dynamic, and as such, functions differently than a Storypoint. Dynamics describe the relationship between Storypoints--not static Storypoints themselves. To help with that understanding, Subtxt offers another tab labeled "Story Dynamics" and then marks each with a gradient background from left to right.
The Story Outcome presents the relationship between the Objective Story Problem and Objective Story Solution of your narrative. You'll find this Dynamic in the Story Dynamics tab of the Objective Story Throughline.
The Dynamics of a narrative do not directly reference a static Storypoint, or Element within the model of the Storymind, and they do not offer "General Illustrations" or "Story-specific Illustrations." They do, however, offer the Subtext option so that you can understand more what the Dynamic is all about in your narrative.
Story Outcome of Success
WhiplashAndrew succeeds in being the perfect jazz musician when he continues to play an extended solo without Fletcher's cue. While angered at first, Fletcher recognizes the effect Andrew's playing has on the audience and cues the band into a rousing finale.
In the above example from Whiplash, Andrew finds success in being a perfect drummer when he ignores Fletcher's lead and instead focuses on the effect he has on the Audience. This introduction of the Objective Story Solution of Effect is what resolves the story in Triumph.
When illustrating the Story Goal and Story Consequence of your Objective Story consider the opposing forces of the Protagonist and Antagonist. The Protagonist is driven to pursue and consider the resolution of the story's inequity through the Story Goal. The Antagonist is driven to avoid or prevent and make others reconsider the resolution of the story's inequity through the Story Consequence.
- The Protagonist is for the Story Goal
- The Antagonist, by default, is aligned with the Story Consequence
In the example above, Andrew is the Protagonist of Whiplash driven to be the perfect drummer (Story Goal of Being). To balance this drive out, Terrence is the Antagonist driven to prevent others from being perfect by doing things that are destructive (and influencing the failures to engage in destructive behavior).
Make sure you work out who is the Protagonist and who is the Antagonist based on which Player is driven to pursue the Story Goal (the Protagonist), and which Player is aligned with the avoidance of that Goal and is more closely aligned with the Story Consequence (the Antagonist).