Your Complete Story
When you arrive back in Subtxt after asking it to Teach Me a Complete Story, you will find that it opens the page marked "Complete Story" directly. This is the next step in the Imagining process.
In addition, you will find that--based on the Story Idea you entered--Subtxt has gone through and split that idea out into the Four Throughlines of a Complete Story: the Objective Story, the Main Character, the Obstacle Character, and the Relationship Story. You will find a Summary of all these Four Throughlines at the top of the screen.
One of the core features of Subtxt is the Brainstorming AI, which is designed to quickly develop the Four Throughlines of a complete story. In this guide, we will use the film RRR as an example, demonstrating how to effectively use the Brainstorming AI to define each of the Four Throughlines, even when dealing with two complete Storyforms.
Step 1: Open the Brainstorming AI Idea Drawer: To begin, open the Brainstorming AI idea drawer within the Subtxt app. You will find this button underneath the Storytelling box in both Storypoints and Storybeats. For this example, we look the Storytelling box found in the Complete Story stage of the Conceptualizing section. This is where you will jot down your initial thoughts, ideas, or keywords for each of the Four Throughlines.
Step 2: Develop Ideas for the Four Throughlines: For each of the Four Throughlines, write down a few ideas or keywords, as you imagine the Throughline. These don't need to be complete sentences and can be as simple as a couple of keywords. For example, using one of the Storyforms from RRR, your keywords could look like this:
Objective Story: "when the British abduct Malli, a young girl with a talent for artistry, from the Gond tribe. the tribe's guardian Komaram Bheem embarks for Delhi to rescue her, disguising himself as a Muslim man named Akhtar" Main Character: "Bheem falls in love with the British lady Jenny, but because of his upbringing feels himself beneath her" Obstacle Character: "Raju, regardless of what happens, always takes control of the situation" Relationship Story: "Bheem and Raju, while made enemies by the British, develop a strong and meaningful relationship"
Step 3: Tap the Brainstorm Button or Hit Enter: Once you have jotted down your ideas or keywords for each Throughline, tap the Brainstorm button again or hit enter. The AI will quickly process your input and return a fully formed illustration of the Throughline, which can be used for further development throughout the rest of the app.
Example Results: After using the Brainstorming AI with the provided keywords, the AI-generated Throughlines for RRR could look like this:
- Objective Story: Following the abduction of Malli, a young artist from the Gond Tribe by the British, Komaram Bheem, the tribe’s guardian, embarks on a mission to rescue her. Disguising himself as a Muslim man named Akhtar, he sets off and discovers he must face off against a powerful British Officer with a strong desire to possess Malli and her unique artistic abilities.
- Main Character: Komaram Bheem is a man of strong convictions and loyalty to his people and culture, but he is struggling to reconcile his love for the British lady Jenny with his feelings of inferiority, leaving him feeling uncertain and confused about his place in the world.
- Obstacle Character: Alluri Venkatarama Raju is a natural leader who is confident in his abilities and is not afraid to make decisions and stand up for what he believes in, even if it leads to conflict. He is a strong leader who is willing to take risks and make bold decisions, setting him apart from the rest.
- Relationship Story: Bheem and Raju start off as rivals, but eventually become close friends as they fight against the British. Through their rivalry, they learn to trust each other and rely on each other for support, and their friendship is strengthened by their shared experiences. In the end, they are able to work together to achieve their common goal.
The Brainstorming AI in Subtxt is an invaluable tool for quickly developing the Four Throughlines of a complete story, as demonstrated using the film RRR as an example. By simply jotting down a few ideas or keywords and tapping the Brainstorm button, users can generate fully-formed Throughlines that can be further developed within the app, making story structuring and development more efficient and enjoyable.
You may notice that what Subtxt came up with for your Main Character Throughline is not exactly what you had imagined when you jotted down your original Story Idea.
This is a feature.
In order to help you write a complete story, Subtxt attempts to take your original concept and split it out into the Four Throughlines. Part of this process includes separating the personal concerns of the Player representing the Main Character from their role in the Objective Story Throughline. While there are many stories where a single Player is both Main Character and Protagonist (a Hero), there are equally as many stories (if not more), where those two functions are carried out by separate Players.
You can find this difference in what is illustrated here on the Complete Story page for the Player assigned to the Main Character Throughline with their Player Role listed beneath their name on the Plot & Players page.
This is because the Players Role as listed on the Players page is their Role in the Objective Story Throughline. Subtxt purposefully tried to come up with a random Main Character Throughline that is not a part of their role in the Objective Story. As strange as it may seem at first, try and see if you can find a way to start thinking of your character in this new light. When you just think of the Player assinged as Main Character one-dimensionally, you tend to collapse them into both Main Character and Protagonist (blending MC and OS Throughlines).
And again, if you absolutely don't like it at all feel free to tap to jot down some new thoughts in the Idea section and click the Brainstorm AI button. Subtxt will then attempt to take those ideas and come up with some new thematic material for your Main Character's personal issues.
Once separated out into the Four Throughlines, you can begin to develop your story by moving on to the next section. If, however, you would like a better idea of what your story will be like once all Four Throughlines are "woven" back together, click on the Blend Throughlines button located at the bottom of this section.
Why would you want to do that?
The general public, and most people you might deal with, won't understand this idea of the Four Throughlines. Unless they're well-versed in narrative structure, they likely believe that there is only "one" Throughline. Their one Throughline is the blended version of all Four Throughlines seen as just one thing.
Contrast the following with the first basic Throughline of an innocent man sent to prison:
Randall is a people pleaser who has always been afraid of rocking the boat. This makes him a wearisome individual, always going along with the group and never standing up for himself. Arnold is a fighter who is always looking for a challenge. He is never content to sit around and do nothing. This causes him to be seen as a troublemaker by those around him. When Randall is convicted of killing his wife and her lover, he is sent to prison. There, he is haunted by the ghosts of his victims, who torment him day and night. Desperate for peace, he must find a way to exonerate himself and lay the ghosts to rest. That's when he develops a friendship with Arnold. The two friends find themselves at odds when they're both assigned to work in the same section of the prison. They're both annoyed with each other at first, but they start to bond over their shared dislike of the warden. Eventually, they learn to appreciate each other's company, and their friendship blossoms.
Do you see how much richer and "fuller" this Blended view of Four Throughlines feels compared to the first?
That's the reason why you want to split your narrative out into Four Throughlines first, before combinging them all together into one story. When you just start with one idea, one perspective, you tend to blend the objective point-of-view with the emotional subjective concerns which eventually leads you to not seeing the bigger picture. The Blended Perspective is one riddled with blind spots (your blind spots).
Here is the Blended Throughlines of The Shawshank Redemption:
Ellis "Red" Redding is an inmate at Shawshank prison serving a life sentence for murdering someone. Andy Dusfresne is a lawyer who is unjustly accused of killing his wife and is also forced to fight to stay alive while trapped within Shawshank. The two men meet and form a friendship that starts out as one of convenience but eventually turns into something much stronger. As Andy fights to clear his name and Ellis struggles to find ways to smuggle contraband into the prison, the two men lean on each other for support. When Andy finally exonerates himself, he uses his freedom to help Ellis escape Shawshank and the two friends are finally able to start new lives outside the prison walls.
When you cover all Four Throughlines you create a complete story for your Audience.
Use the Blended Throughline to communciate the totality of your story to others. Use the separated Four Throughlines to craft a deeply meaningful story, one that is not prone to blind spots.
Make sure when you adjust and redefine the General Encodings you receive from Subtxt AI that you maintain the perspective of the Throughline. For example, when working on the Objective Story Throughline include everyone and be objective, for the Obstacle Character take care to illustrate the point-of-view this character presents to the story.
Focus on the general area of conflict for everyone involved. Try not to get too personal.
- Rebels vs. the Empire When the Empire absconds with the Princess, Luke Skywalker and his friends must sneak aboard the Death Star to rescue her. Once freed, she--and the plans she secreted away--set the stage an ultimate battle between the Rebels and the Empire.
- Renewal & Corruption in Gotham City When the Mayor is murdered, the vigilante Batman investigates alongside the Gotham City police force. Spurned on by the mysterious Riddler, the investigation begins to unravel a level of corruption unheard of, and at every level.
- Integrating White People with Black People A weekend trip to meet his white girlfriend's parents turns to a nightmare when black photographer Chris Washington uncovers a diabolical plot to integrate white people with black people.
Focus on the conflict intimate and personal to the Main Character and Main Character only.
- Ellis 'Red' Redding Ellis 'Red' Redding is an inmate and prison-contraband smuggler serving a life sentence in Shawshank for murdering someone.
- Phil Connors Phil Connors is a surly weatherman stuck repeating the same day over and over again
- Rick Blaine Rick Blaine is the owner of a nightclub and gambling den in Casablanca. He keeps to himself and 'sticks his neck out for no one.'
Focus on the impact or challenge the character attached to this point-of-view presents to the story.
- Ben Kenobi Ben Kenobi is a former Jedi Knight who draws power from his belief in a metaphysical energy known as The Force.
- Arthur "Boo" Radley Arthur 'Boo' Radley is a recluse whose life is shrouded in mystery. Many treat him as if he were invisible.
- Ned Logan & the Schofield Kid Ned Logan is William Munny's longtime friend. Well-situated and married, Ned leads a peaceful and simple life. The Schofield Kid is an inexperienced bounty hunter who can't see far enough to be a good marksman. Both Ned and the Kid are ill-suited to be caught up in the world of assassins-for-hire.
Focus on the space between the characters and how that relationship grows through conflict.
- friendship Two strangers grow closer together as they navigate the dangerous world of video games.
- camaraderie Fellow social pariahs find common ground in dropping out and dealing in and taking drugs.
- superior/subordinate While seemingly equal partners in their defense of a court case, the superior lawyer holds a higher ranking than the subordinate one
In some cases, you may find yourself wishing you could immediately toss out some of the ideas Subtxt AI generates when using the Launch Buttons in the Conceptualizing section. While the AI-generated ideas can be a great starting point, they may not always align with your vision for the story.
If you find yourself in this situation, don't worry - Subtxt has a solution. Simply tap on the three dots at the top-right part of the screen and select "Clear Storytelling" from the drop-down menu. After confirming that this is indeed what you want to do, Subtxt will then go through any of the Storypoints or Storybeats located in that section of Conceptualizing and erase any of the Storytelling.
This feature allows you to start fresh with your own ideas, without the constraints of any pre-existing ideas generated by Subtxt AI. You can either enter your own Storytelling or re-invent the section you're on by revisiting the drop-down menu at the upper right. With this capability, you can tailor your story to your own unique vision and preferences.