ChatGPT + Dramatica as an alternative to "Subtext"

Although Subtext is an excellent tool, it is ridiculously overpriced. Especially now that ChatGPT can offer similar writing assistance (plus LOADS of other features) for $5 less than Jim Hull’s app.

All one has to do is go to “Create my GPT” and upload the free Dramatica ebooks with proper instructions.

it’s my hope that this pushes @jhull to better competitively price his app. Yes, it’s good, but that pricing relies on it being the only game in town.

I’m a long time user of Subtxt from way before any of the chat stuff existed. For me, there is still a huge amount of value in everything else the app provides, like quick access to wonderful pages on each element (showing relevant quads, example illustrations, movie references for that element, etc.).

It also has a different (and for me, definitely more accurate) signpost order, as well as the ability to break down beats beyond the variation level into the element level. Piles of other features too. I use Subtxt almost every day, and 9 times out of 10 it’s to use the main UI, not the chat – though I have had some very positive experiences with the chat.

I’m quite well versed in Dramatica, so I don’t need the chat interface to teach me the theory, although sometimes it can really help me see things better. But I do think for those new to Dramatica, Subtxt can really help get across things that are otherwise difficult to learn without months of mentorship or months/years of self-study. (Note I haven’t tested ChatGPT’s Dramatica chops, I would guess it makes a lot of mistakes compared to Muse, but I can’t say for sure.)

Regardless of which route you take, you still need to devote time and effort to learning Dramatica. 90+% of the benefit of Dramatica comes in how you think about your story. Subtxt just gives you a leg up, and a lot of your learning can be with your own work, which is a nice benefit.

EDIT: I do think you’re right though – you can get awesome results with Dramatica, especially if you have the Dramatica app (I can’t imagine trying to figure out my story’s storyform without one of Dramatica or Subtxt!).


The advatages of Subtxt vs. Dramatica + ChatGPT lie in the expertise of its developer, Jim Hull. While the D+GPT provides the great freedom and flexibility – which is great/essential for some writers – the steady hand guiding a writer in Subtxt is of immense value for many writers.


I can’t believe you flagged and removed my post as spam. @jhull

No way does OpenAI need someone to sell their wares for them and you know it.

I guess you gotta protect your nut, as Logan Roy would say.

I am, however, honored to have @chuntley respond and I value his opinions. I adore Dramatica.
(which is now more than I can say for Subtxt and its creator after this little stunt)

Chris, may I ask you are there any estimates when the upgraded version of Dramatica might be available? As a long time user I miss the opportunity to quickly sketch out a new story forms. The proposed technical work arounds doesn’t really work for me.

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wktra2, I saw your first post and I wanted to write few words but had no time. Anyway it is not removed, it’s just flagged.
I have two things in my mind.
First of all I like Ferrari Daytona. But I can’t afford it.
It’s expensive, true, but I’m not going to blame Enzo Ferrari for that. I hope you get my point.
Second of all. I also can’t afford Subtext. Ok, I can but don’t want to because writing is my hobby and not profession. But the good news is, I don’t have to.
The whole knowledge is free, the whole theory is for free or for a fair (in my opinion, of course) price. Dramatica theory book is free. A lot of Dramatica related technics is for free, like content of this forum. Armando’s Dramatica for screenwriters is about $20 on Amazon. NarrativeFirst is for free. with dictionary, more than 400 analyses and Q&A is for free. You can have it all.
Even old Dramatica demo is probably still available for free and the only limitation is saving and exporting the reports, or something like that. It complicates life a bit but if you want to save some money you can live with these limitations. I know because I did it. I still have some old word document with screenshots of storyforms and reports. Sorry for that, Chris. :frowning_face: Years ago I had to think of every penny I wanted to spend.
As far as I know Subtext provides more assistance and guides faster throughout creation process but the downside is it does some things instead of you. It learns, you don’t.
I did try with OpenAI. I also imported books and analyses and so on. My advantage here was I knew what’s in these books. And after trying with Dramatica and some other topics I think, please don’t hate me for that, I think it’s kind of ‘stupid’. Trying to test it sometimes I had to change the way a question was asked like ten times to get the correct answer. And I did try with other topics I’m interested in, and always the same.
It’s smart in building sentences. But the content is another story. Some people say it’s as smart as 9 yo kid. Well… can’t be sure but I’m smarter :slight_smile:
To sum it up: Chris shares the knowledge for free and sells the tools. That’s his right.
We don’t have to buy. All we need to write is a pen and a bit of paper. All other is what we want - what a classic conflict :slight_smile:
So… good luck.


I must say, I’m surprised someone says Subtxt has a noncompetitive price.450$/year in for the “pro” version doesn’t seem excessive, even for someone like me (amateur writer).

  1. You can always stick to the basic version (cheaper) or even subscribe just for the month(s) you need to develop the essentials of your story.

  2. There are other writing tools using AIs that are light-years behind Subtxt that charge more. They are light-years behind because they take the already known patterns of the reader’s appreciation of the story instead of Dramatica’s approach.

  3. Jim and Chris are generous with the huge amount of material and work they offer for free.

But I’m still more surprised that someone can make the mistake of thinking that even after Jim worked with OpenAI to train ChatGPT in Dramatica theory (with Muse Jr. as a result) it’s the same training an AI by yourself than using a product that is continuously learning with the input of Subtxt users and Jim’s work.


Hi @wktra2 welcome to the community.

I am the admin here, but I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to keep up with things over here. I’m not sure why your post was hidden but I’ve gone ahead and made it visible.

I understand and hear your concerns about the pricing of Subtxt. I try to make it as affordable and accessible to everyone, but understand that it’s not for everyone.

I’m a one-man show and don’t have VC backing so can’t afford to run the service at a loss. Building and maintaining an AI app that can do the things that Subtxt can do is no minor feat and requires quite a bit of time and effort.

Add to that the very narrow vertical that is something in this space, and I believe very strongly that the value add you get from Subtxt is incomparable.

That said, I understand that not everyone can afford a subscription and have in the past given out temporary free licenses to those who are under financial distress or who are in parts of the world where the fee is beyond their means (purchase parity).

All you have to do is email me (or contact me here through DM, though Discord might be quicker) and I’ll see what I can do.

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