Fault in Our Stars Analysis on Narrative First

Good to know! It’s always good to hear people enjoy using something. I’m more apt to purchase it then, if it will help me learn the theory! Thank you for your help!


OK, yes, I think you and @Lakis are saying the same thing, which is a good thing. Thanks so much for your help. I think I’d need both to flesh out the stories I’m trying to tell…


Hi @bruingirl, welcome!

@Lakis and @Hunter already did a great job of answering your questions (which is fun to read as I prep a brand new rollout of Subtext this weekend!), but just some clarifications:

While I did switch to Changed for Main Character Resolve (because it makes more sense to me when you look at the end of the story to determine the resolve, is it Steadfast, or is it Changed? Plus, it helps to differentiate it from the narrative Element of Change, something altogether different), I have yet to make those other changes to terms Hunter marks down. Things like Uncontrolled to Free or Non-Acceptance to Rejection. Eventually, I’ll have an option to do that, but not quite yet.

The whole purpose of Subtext is to provide a practical approach to using Dramatica. I have a ton of experience helping writers across all mediums (screenplays, novels, games) and wanted to put that in a form that could benefit everyone. The theory is not all that complicated, and you can see a significant improvement in your writing, IF you concentrate on the big parts first–that’s what Subtext does.

The one thing that was briefly mentioned that I need to write about more are the weekly classes (the Writers Room). Every week on Thursday we get together for an hour to go over intricacies of the theory or like we did this last week, analyze a script on the Blacklist and figure out why it’s there and not in theaters. I had no idea this would turn out to be as fruitful and as exciting as I though it would be when I started. We learn so much in the open forum discussion that just isn’t possible here or in a podcast. We already have 40+ hours in the archives, and I have no intention of stopping!


@jhull Yes, I think Subtext would help me re-outline my novel. I’ve already written it, but I’ve failed in ways that I already have reasons for (ugh), and I think the Dramatica theory would help to set a strong foundation for a major rewrite. So, I guess the last question I would have for you (and @Hunter already answered this a little, I believe) is: do I start with Subtext, or start with Dramatica to get the theory down, then export into Subtext? Am I thinking of this correctly?

And sadly, I don’t live in LA (I’m assuming the writers’ group is there?), so I’ll have to follow online.

Thank you for all your help! I’m enjoying your articles on Narrative First…

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The Writers Room class I was talking about is online in Subtext - everyone from Guyana to the Netherlands is welcome :slight_smile:

I would start with Subtext–Dramatica isn’t really something you get down, it takes a long time to become proficient with it. Subtext short-changes that process by making a lot of assumptions about what you want to write and the kind of outline you’re looking for. Then, once you’re feeling strong with it and want and/or need complete control over everything, I would move to Dramatica.

Subtext is designed for beginners, but has the tools available for more seasoned writers.


@jhull, Perfect. Thank you!

@jhull, I’ve subscribed to Subtext, but I don’t see Fault in Our Stars as a movie example (I think this is the closest example I can come up with, in regards to my novel), and I can’t seem to work from scratch in Subtext (to fill in the details myself), so this requires Dramatica, correct?

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If Fault isn’t there, it’s an oversight on my part. I’ve done a lot of analyses over the years on Narrative First, but some I’ve overlooked.

I can easily upload that one quickly this afternoon for you.

But yes, if you want to start completely from scratch, and not rely on genre or premise to find your story’s structure, Dramatica is what you want.

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@jhull, oh, that’s so generous! Yes, I would love for you to upload that for me, if you don’t mind, but I know it’s a lot of work. If you can’t fit it in, I’m planning on buying Dramatica anyway. I just wanted to be sure this works for me (I’m sure it will!) before I splurge on everything. :slight_smile:

It would probably take me longer than it would take you, since I’m new to this, but that’s okay. I’m planning on learning everything for several weeks, just so I feel secure in what I’m doing.

My last name is Elliott, and I just signed up today (for Subtext) if you’d rather email me! You can find me in your database, I’m sure!


And you should definitely buy Dramatica–speaking from personal experience, it’s a small investment in what will eventually become a greater understanding of how story works and by proxy–how we work.

It more than pays for itself 1000x–externally and internally.

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@jhull, just purchased Dramatica, so I’m on my way! :slight_smile:

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Awesome. And if you check out Subtext you’ll see Fault in Our Stars all ready for you :slight_smile:


@jhull, you are the absolute best! Thank you, thank you!

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@jhull, I’m becoming the writer from hell, no? Anyways, here’s a screenshot of my Subtext page…and the search I did for The Fault in Our Stars. Am I in the wrong place?

@jhull Found it! Thank you!

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Yeah, I always forget to update the search indexes when I upload a new storyform. Thanks for reminding me of something once again! (You can always find them under Storyforns or listed under The Latest on the front page.

Thanks again. Truly, you’re the best!

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I noticed that the images were missing from that article as well – added them back in. They should help explain some of the concepts better.

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@jhull, thanks for doing that!

John Green is the Erich Segal of Millennials