The Mental Sex of a Story

The Mental Sex of a story determines the relationship between the structural and dynamic appreciations of the narrative.

With Subtxt, you set the Mental Sex of your story in the Premise Builder Subtxt Settings:

Setting the Mental Sex of A Story

Male Mental Sex stories focus on Achieving a Goal while Female Mental Sex stories focus on Setting an Intention. The reason for this is that the Male Mental Sexed mind processes conflict through cause and effect, while the Female Mental Sex mind processes through the balancing of inequities.

Once set, Female Mental Sex stories and Male Mental Sex stories perform exactly the same way. This setting only informs Subtxt what to do at the build process.

It's important to note that a Female Mental Sex story is not just about "relationships" or "seeing all sides of the conflict." A Female Mental Sex story is one whose narrative is constructed through relationships between structural and dynamic appreciations of a Storyform, rather than the cause and effect found in Male Mental Sex stories.Other than that, once a Storyform is found, a Female Mental Sex story works exactly like a Male Mental Sex story.

A Matter of Emphasis and Intent

To help writers better understand the composition of their narratives, Subtxt alters the interface to match the Mental Sex of the story. In general, this approach focuses Male Mental Sex stories on linear/cause-and-effect components and Female Mental Sex stories more in the direction of holism and balancing inequities.

You will find these alterations in several key areas:

  • the order of Throughlines
  • the presence of Story Drivers
  • Storyform considerations
  • the order of Thematic Cycles in a Storybeat

The first place you will find a difference is in the order of Throughlines within a story.

The Order of Throughlines

Under Throughlines, a Male Mental Sex story will list the Four Throughlines in this order:

  • Objective Story
  • Main Character
  • Obstacle Character
  • Relationship Story

As with all things narrative, the order of these Throughlines carries meaning. A Male Mental Sex story gives preference to the Objective Story plot and the Main Character Throughline. The secondary subjective Throughlines of Obstacle Character and Relationship Story exist in relation to these first two more important considerations of the Storymind.

A Female Mental Sex story, with its emphasis on balancing inequities and self-actualization, orders the Throughlines with more of an inside-out approach:

  • Main Character
  • Relationship Story
  • Obstacle Character
  • Objective Story

Observe any of the Female Mental Sex stories (Forrest Gump, Dances with Wolves, Moulin Rouge!, etc.) and you will find that those stories grant preferential treatment to the Main Character and Relationship Story Throughlines first, before then moving on to the more externalized Obstacle Character and Objective Story Throughlines. In these stories, the individual is more important than the objective plot.

The Presence of Story Drivers

Story Drivers signify the cause-and-effect relationship between Storybeats, and are specifically tied to the Objective Story Throughline. Because a Female Mental Sex story downplays cause-and-effect and considers Objective Story the least important consideration, Subtxt removes the Story Drivers from the Objective Story Throughline in a Female Mental Sex story.

This is not a mistake--it's a feature.

Re-consider the above films structured around Female Mental Sex and you'll find it difficult to identify the major plot points in each one. This is a result of the Female Mental Sex mind downplaying and reducing the importance of, or consideration at all, of cause-and-effect concerns.

They are still there behind the scenes constructing the narrative, but you will find them of less importance than if you had them in a Male Mental Sex story.

Storyform Considerations

In addition to altering the Static Plot Points to better serve a purpose of Intention rather than Acheiving a Goal, Subtxt alters the motivating Elements of each Throughline. Problem and Solution are presented as Condition and Revision, and Focus and Direction are served up as Resistance and Flow.

They still perform and relate to each other the same way they would in a Male Mental Sex story, you'll just find this set of terminology brings you closer to what a Female Mental Sex story is really all about.

The Order of Thematic Cycles

Lastly, you'll find that the order of Thematic Cycles switches depending on whether or not the story is a Male Mental Sex narrative or a Female Mental Sex narrative. This switch is meant to reinforce the justification process each mind goes through as it works to resolve and manage an inequity.

A Male Mental Sex story will sound off Thematic Cycles in this order:

  • Material
  • Spatial
  • Temporal

Whereas a Female Mental Sex story will ring truth through:

  • Temporal
  • Spatial
  • Material

You can liken this recognition to the blindspots inherent within each mind. The Male Mental Sex mind sees time as distinct and something to be blended with the concept of space (spacetime). The Female Mental Sex mind considers the known to be unknowable, and therefore falls blind to more structural and/or material concerns.

All Cycles are present in both minds, it's just a matter of preference and deference.

© 2023 Narrative First, Inc.