Plotting with Templates

For all storytellers who've struggled to convert a surge of ideas into a structured plot, look to the Plot with Templates feature. This feature facilitates the integration of the Four Throughlines into a standardized format, simplifying your storytelling process considerably. The first available template is the popular "Save the Cat!" sequence of beats.

While this feature doesn't provide a complete recipe for crafting a narrative, it equips you with key elements to enhance the Storybeats you've crafted in Subtxt.

How It Works

  1. Navigate to Plotting -> Act One.
  2. Click on the three-button dropdown at the top.
  3. Select "Plot with Save the Cat!"

Subtxt will then weave all Four Throughlines into this template, handling the intricate detailing and organizing for you.

Post-Plotting Actions

After the plotting process, you can:

  1. Review the content within each Act individually.
  2. Go to Treatment and download the entire outline.

The downloaded outline is ready for you to import into your preferred writing application and start writing your narrative.

Additionally, we're excited to share that we're developing more templates such as the Hero's Journey. If you have a preferred template or have created one yourself, we welcome your contributions!

Templating in Subtxt: The Rationale

While Subtxt offers structuring tools, it's important to understand that Subtxt does not inherently dictate the structure of your story's events. The dividing lines between the "moments" of a story (Sequences, Scenes, Chapters, etc.) are arbitrary and ultimately meaningless in terms of the story's inherent resonance. You can take any narrative developed with Subtxt (Four Throughlines) and filter it through any template without altering the story's intent.

Subtxt is objective, unlike templates like "Save the Cat" or "Hero's Journey" which are subjective interpretations of story structure. You can layer any arrangement of sequences, such as a "Save the Cat" or a "Hero's Journey", onto a Storyform developed in Subtxt, and the story's intent remains the same.

Filtering Meaning through a Template

When you choose to plot with a template, Subtxt does not alter the storytelling work you have already done. Instead, the feature creates Moments in each Act that match the chosen template and weaves your existing work into those Moments.

For instance, in the "Save the Cat" template, the Midpoint correlates with the middle (third) Story Driver. If that Driver exists, Subtxt creates a Moment titled "Midpoint" and attaches the Story Driver to that Moment.

Similarly, the "B Story" in "Save the Cat", which tries to describe the Relationship Story Throughline, is plotted before the final Story Driver of Act One in Subtxt to maintain narrative integrity.

The template also has sequences such as "Fun and Games" that are less clearly defined. In these cases, Subtxt creates a Moment with the corresponding title and weaves Transits and Progressions into a potential order within that Moment. You, as the Author, can then rearrange these Storybeats as needed.

A Treatment for Everyone Else

This feature is designed to help you present your narrative in a familiar and digestible pattern to your agent, editor, writing group, or friends who might not understand the intricacies of a Storyform. It allows you to focus more on what truly matters: writing your story.

© 2023 Narrative First, Inc.