Making an Event-ful Story

Mastering the art of illustrating the key Events in your story

Subtxt is a gamechanger for writers. What once required a 600-page book and 10+ years of study can now be achieved in weeks with the app alone. But some parts of Subtxt can feel overwhelming if you’re not sure how to use them.


Why Four Acts Are Better Than Three

The Middle of a story deserves just as much respect as the Beginning and End. It provides crucial context for the characters' actions and decisions.

Many break narrative down into Three Acts. After all, what could be simpler than Beginning, Middle, and End? Unfortunately, this idea that the “Middle” somehow stands equivalent to Beginning and End leads many to write incomplete and broken stories.


Who is the Obstacle Character?

Obstacle Characters are powerful tools for the storyteller, but it's important to remember that stories are for the audience, not for the characters.

The Obstacle Character is a powerful addition to the storyteller's craft. A perspective often conflated with the Antagonist of a story, the Obstacle Character is the point-of-view responsible for challenging the Main Character to face their personal justifications.


Vice Picks up Canada's Oscar Contender Eternal Spring

When narrative structure meets real-world events

Great news! Variety reports that the documentary Eternal Spring --for which I played a small part in helping craft the narrative--was just picked up by Vice.


Using Artificial Intelligence to Generate a One-Page Synopsis

Many writers find themselves challenged with being able to answer the question, What is your story about? They will know what happens when, and to whom, but they'll pause when it comes to defining that illusive meaning. And meaning is what story is all about.


Creative Writing with an Artificial Intelligence: Part 2

Continuing my magical journey with a brand new creative writing partner

Back to my late night creative writing. After a day of installing all the necessary items needed to start using Subtxt AI to start generating major Plot points (Story Drivers in Dramatica theory), I sat down to work on my story.


What Is an Obstacle Character?

The Obstacle Character is the point-of-view that blocks the Main Character from just sweeping their personal problems under the carpet.

Subtxt reverts to the original core understanding and foundation of Dramatica theory, way back when first released in the early to mid-nineties. At that time, when the theory first introduced the point of view to challenge the Main Character and fuel their personal growth, it was known as the Obstacle Character.


Creative Writing with an Artificial Intelligence: Part 1

Setting out on a magical journey with a brand new creative writing partner

Recently, I wanted to write a story.


Modeling Meaningful Storytelling with AI

Artificial intelligence is a great way to make your writing better, and it will not replace you.

Modern coverage of artificial intelligence and its use in a narrative is an exercise in self-delusion. The often passive-aggressive lashing out at the inevitable is almost always an act of self-preservation—as if the acceptance of a hyper-aware and hyper-intelligent automated writing partner will somehow end up in that AI "taking my job." The collective conclusion is comfortable deniability: computers can't write stories.


Story Structure: The Ingredients of a Narrative

The premise of a story is the argument of the story, and it is the job of the artist to make the message of the premise meaningful.

Flipping through some of the Premises in Subtxt, one might find them cold and uninviting. "Abandon your skepticism and can guarantee a profitable future?" Writers don't talk this way, do they? They don't--but they do think that way.


The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Season One Pilot) Second Act Treatment

The narrative structure of everything in a single episode

Hot on the heels of Jay Hayward's post about Giving Your Story the Subtxt Treatment, I present a detailed Plotting of Transit Two from the Season One Pilot of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.


The Ultimate Collection of Antagonists Who Are Main Characters

The one who avoids or prevents resolution of the plot is Antagonist, regardless of audience empathy

As a companion to the original blog post The Ultimate Collection of Protagonists Who Act As Obstacle Characters, the following is a list of Main Characters who function as Antagonists within the Objective Story Throughline.


Giving Your Story the Subtxt Treatment

Seeing the whole thing at once, so you can start to make sense of it

It’s hard to pick a favorite feature in Subtxt. The AI, the Premise Builder, the whole app itself? But, in my opinion, that honor should really go to the Treatment, one of the most helpful tools available for writers.


What Happens When AI Knows Story Structure

The future is already here

Joanna Penn, the host of The Creative Penn Podcast, recently interviewed Andrew Mayne, international best-selling author and science communicator at OpenAI. In an episode entitled Writing with Artificial Intelligence with Andrew Mayne the two discuss some of the creative possibilities for storytelling with AI.


Eternally Grateful for Being a Part of Eternal Spring

A beautiful look at the very best of humanity

Earlier this week, my wife Summer and I attended a screening of Jason Loftus' latest documentary, Eternal Spring. Having worked with Jason prior on his first doc, Ask No Questions, I was beyond excited to see what I consider to be one of the most emotional and beautiful works of art finally up on the big screen.


Modeling Alternate Realities in Narrative Applications

The relationship between the Failure and Consequence of a complete story

One of the most confounding aspects of the Dramatica theory of story is the relationship between the Consequence of a story and the Concern of the Relationship Story Throughline.


The Difference between Timespace and Spacetime

The impact of their relationship on narrative structure

Subtxt is the only narrative structure application that accounts for either Timespace or Spacetime when it comes to the sequencing of events.


Using Artificial Intelligence as a Co-writer, Not a Parlor Trick

Developing a new way to develop meaningful stories

GPT-3 is incredible. The "Gee-whiz" factor is undeniable. And while initial results are nothing short of pure magic, the majority of work being done in this space treats the tech as a replacement, rather than a collaborator.


Visualizing the Main Character Dynamics

More than random stabs in the dark


Using Predictive Narrative Intelligence to Write a Story

More than random stabs in the dark

Part of my plans for 2022 involve weaving GPT-3 text generation into Subtxt. You can see current incarnations of this in apps like sudowrite or LitRPGAdventures. The only difference?