Blog Post

Writing Thematic Conversations Instead of Acts

Feb 5th, 2021

Since the dawn of time (or at least, since Aristotle) man has divided stories into Acts. Preferring the nice easy rational strategy of partitioning events into components, this heavy-handed approach served many--but left behind many more.

With Subtext, a portion of narrative structure (roughly half) emphasize Thematic Conversation over Acts. These sequential threads run throughout the entire story touching upon key moments of a story's thematic exploration.

Thematic Conversations in Subtext

What is the primary difference between this approach and the time-honored tradition of Act One, Act Two, and Act Three?

Thematic Conversations observe through time to the see relationships as opposed to observing through space to see order.

With problems and solutions and traditional Linear -narratives, writers see Potential and Resistance and Current and Outcome and interpret an order to these things. The structure of the story thinks The Potential creates an inequity which is then met with Resistance. Those two multiplied by each other creates the Conflict which--when worked through--develops an Outcome.

Acts measure the relative nature of each to determine order.

With the managing of inequities and Holistic thought, we see what comes first, then second, then third, and then fourth to interpret the relationship between them.

It's a subtle difference that exhibits a tremendous impact on the order and nature of sequential events.

The first Variation flows in the second Variation manifesting the first as a Potential and the second as Resistance. The third appears which "feels" like a building of Power, and then the fourth appears almost like a foregone conclusion as to what will be the flow of the entire experience.

This is why those given to Holistic narratives tend to know the ending of a story way before their coupled Linear counterpart.

They observe in terms of time and can intuit what will happen last.