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?

The Obstacle Character in The Shape of Water
A reminder of perspective

The Shape of Water has always been particularly problematic to me (I always thought it was a cheap comic-book knock-off of Amelié 😄), so I've always resisted putting it into Subtxt. As I'm going through and updating all the Storyforms, it showed up again, and I knew I had to face it one way or another.

The Coincidence of Opposites and Story Structure
An age-old lecture sheds light on the foundation of a meaningful story

While teaching the latest cohort of The 2nd Act Solution, I stumbled upon this lecture from Alan Watts that perfectly described the center of every meaningful story. Entitled Coincidence of Opposites, this brief segment is all you really need to know when laying down the foundation of your latest work:

Traversing the Storybeats of a Complete Story
What it means to transition through a narrative

Subtxt generates an impressive blueprint of the meaning of a narrative. Based on the Dramatica theory of story, the 336 Storybeats present in each Storyform help transmit the intended message, or Premise, of a work to the Audience.

Fight Club
It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.

In Fight Club, the Dramatic Argument is between Aware (Narrator) and Self-aware (Tyler Durden).

First Blood
A simple, yet coherent dramatic argument

In First Blood (Rambo), the Dramatic Argument is Reaction (Rambo) vs Proaction (Sheriff).

Writing a Dramatic Argument
Clarify the motivating forces behind two points-of-view

When developing a story around a Dramatic Argument, many writers think in terms of opposites...when they should be thinking in terms of dramatic pairs.

The Harder They Fall
Just missing the mark when it comes to a complete story.

This would be the first time I had to pull a Storyform from Subtxt...and I'm not happy about it.

On Being a Story Consultant
Appreciating the often misunderstood

Recently, a student at Falmouth University in Cornwall (studying for a Master's Degree in Screenwriting and Storytelling), asked me a couple of questions about what I do as a story consultant. While many have a complete misunderstanding of what the work entails, my role as consultant really boils down to a single concept: collaboration without the ego.