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Get to Know Story at a Molecular Level

For years, a comprehensive appreciation of narrative structure was hit and miss. As general and cultural paradigms gave way to more precise and psychological understandings, the means by which this new knowledge appeared only confused and confounded the storyteller. Podcasts, analyses, and articles can only go so far—today’s writer needs quick and efficient access to world-class tools.

Enter the Narrative First Atomizer.

Beautiful Story Structure

Why spend your nights and weekends squinting at blocks of text and lists of story points? The Narrative First Atomizer takes an intuitive and visual approach to its presentation of the deep thematic structure of a story.

The Overall Story of *Get Out*

Domain, Concern, Issue, and Problem? Now you can see for yourself how the last grows to the first (and how the first encompasses the last). The Problem Quad of every Throughline sits centerpiece—arranged according to the Domain and labeled with the appropriate terms of Problem, Solution, Focus, and Direction. Additional story points sit off to the right and the four Signposts sit below. Arranged visually to communicate the presence of a Two, Three, or Four Act Structure, the Plot Progression helps identify the unique order of thematic items that match that Throughline’s specific problem.

A Main Character Throughline Plot Progression

Wonder what a Main Character Signpost 2 of Progress looks like? Every single Element of story structure is link-enabled. Click on it and you’ll find a collection of narratives that also claim Progress as a second movement in their Main Character Throughline.

Main Character Signpost 2 of Progress

Curated Story Analysis

The Narrative First Atomizer is comprehensive and lightning-fast. Access hundreds of storyforms—including those available only to Narrative First subscribers—within mere micro-seconds. Professionally curated by Jim Hull, this collection promises to be the definitive word on the most accurate assessment of narrative structure.

The Atomizer Dashboard

New storyforms arrive every week—a mixture of classic, new, and independent—all promising an enlightening and insightful experience.

Visual Throughlines

The Narrative First Atomizer incorporates the popular Throughline Thursdays feature found here on Narrative First.

The Throughlines of Blade Runner: 2049

Available on several storyforms, and coming to many more, this visual representation of the Throughlines of a narrative serve to introduce the writer to the broadest strokes of structure. Discover how Overall Story, Main Character, Influence Character, and Relationship Story combine to create a unique flavor of story structure.

Gist Collections

“Obtuse” terminology separates the writer from structure. Prerequisites. Non-accurate. Preconscious. Precise in definition, yet difficult to grasp, the individual Elements of story structure steer many away from their ability to signficiantly improve the quality of storytelling.

Enter the Gist:

n. the substance or essence of a text

The Narrative First Atomizer grants you instant access to thousands upon thousands of phrases that approximate—or capture the essence—of the story point in question. A search for the Preconscious drums up:

  • getting spooked
  • being calm about something
  • having knee jerk reactions
  • responding inappropriately to someone

No more reading through dense definitions in search of some notion of what Preconscious means.

Preconscious in the Atomizer

In addition, the Atomizer incorporates the Narrative First Genre Gist Collections.1 Sci-Fi, Western, Fantasy, and even Teen Sex Comedy modify and extend the original gists with people, places, and things that hint at the specific Genre:

  • being calm about the Sheriff
  • responding inappropriately to the Saloon Owner

Take that cold, lifeless set of story points and turn them into a living, breathing story.

All the Gists

Practical Terminology

And speaking of making terminology easier to understand—how great would it be to hear a practical approach to using all these appreciations of story? Sure, definitions help, and Gists help with specific Elements of story, but what about the story points themselves? Wouldn’t it be great to have gists for story points like the Relationship Story Issue?

Gists for Story Points

Links to relevant articles, podcasts, and analyses will also be provided where applicable. Time to amp up your understanding of both story structure terminology and the actual appreciations of story structure.

And what better way to do both then by combining them into a single search function?

Search Feature

Now that you have a better understanding of what a certain Element means and the Appreciation it attaches to, let’s put them together.

Want to quickly discover the implications of a Main Character Problem of Desire or a Relationship Story Solution of Accurate? Simply type mc problem of desire or rs solution of accurate in the convenient search box and instantly you’re presented with a list of narratives that share the same story point. No more using Google’s special operators to narrow your quest—the Atomizer knows exactly what you’re looking for and can help you at a moment’s notice.

Quick Search in the Atomizer

The Details

The Narrative First Atomizer runs in your browser—regardless of operating system, and regardless of the device used to access it. A subscriber to the Narrative First Atomizer enjoys the freedom to engage with narrative structure anywhere.

Subscriptions run monthly or yearly, and you can cancel at any time. A subscription model is perfect for the working writer. Do you take a long time to write that first draft? Subscribe for the months when you’re developing your story, then turn it off when you’re ready to write. We’ll still be here when you’re finished, and when you want to use the Atomizer to review and help you with your rewrite.

You can also upgrade and downgrade at any time, and your fee will be prorated accordingly.

Access to the Narrative First Atomizer is $29/month or $290/year (a $60 savings compared to the monthly fee).

Register now and accelerate your understanding of story and story structure.


  1. The Atomizer ships with the original terminology. Genre Gist Collections like the Western, Fantasy, etc. are coming soon. ↩︎

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