The Relationship Story Throughline

The Relationship Story Throughline of a complete story is truly unique when compared to the other three Throughlines. Often referred to as "the heart of a story," the Relationship Story perspective is about the growth of a relationship through inequity.

It's important to note that, while this Throughline is typically the relationship between the Main Character and the Obstacle Character, it is neither about the Main Character or the Obstacle Character--it's about the relationship between them. Storytellers can find themselves reverting to a "he said/she said" approach to illustrating this Throughline if they're not careful. While unusual at first, thinking of this relationship as if a character in and of itself can help a writer zero in on the essence and meaning of this Throughline.

One More Time, With Feeling

In addition to delivering illustrations that focus on the relationship, rather than the characters within the relationship, Subtxt also grants storytellers an opportunity to charge the relationship with emotion.

In the Storybeats of the Relationship Story Throughline, you'll find a "thermometer" icon located just below the Brainstorming AI button. Tapping it reveals a section where you can illustrate the emotional temperature of the relationship at that point in time of the story.

The Relationship Storybeat Thermometer

If you leave this space blank, Subtxt AI will assume you want a dramatic type of relationship when generating ideas for Storybeats.

Default Dramatic Storybeat for the Relationship Story Throughline

But not all relationships in the Relationship Story Throughline are dramatic, or consist of negative conflict. They can also be "light-hearted and fun", "comical and silly", and even "supportive and loving." In a complete story, conflict is not always negative. The Relationship Story Throughline is about growth through inequity--often this appears as negative conflict, but it doesn't always have to be that way.

If we wanted a "light-hearted and fun" Relationship Story Throughline instead, we could enter that into the Emotional Ladder section of the Storybeat. Now, when we run the Brainstorming AI for this Throughline, Subtxt returns a set of Storybeat ideas that are a bit more fun:

Making the Relationship Light-hearted and Fun

And here are ideas for the same Storybeat of a complete story, but with the relationship set to "supportive and uplifting."

A Supportive and Uplifting Relationship Story Throughline

The reason why you would want to be able to adjust the temperature like this is that a relationship in the Relationship Story Throughline is always growing--always expanding and contracting. One moment it may be up, the next it may be down. Just like real life.

The Emotional Ladder in Subtxt allows you to mimic the same in this important, yet often forgotten, Throughline of a complete story.

Which is why it's nice to sometimes be able to set the temperature to "sad, and heartbreaking."

A Sad and Heart-breaking Relationship Story Throughline

Truly sad, and heart-breaking.

As you can see, the simple addition of a few emotionally-charged keywords can set a Relationship Story Throughline off into a completely different and inspiring new direction. And with the recommendation to set a beginning Player and ending Player for each relationship in the Relationship Story Throughline, storytellers can directly manipulate the "heart-strings" of the thematic "heart" of their story.❤️

© 2023 Narrative First, Inc.