How is your Workflow with Subtext?

Just wondering how you work with Subtext until you have a final Treatment.

Here is mine:

Prep in Dramatica

  1. Build Story Form
  2. Assign Gists

In Subtext
3. Upload Structure
4. Write Story Driver
5. Write Throughlines resp. Storybeats
6. Export Treatment as Markdown

In Scrivener

  1. Import Treatment
  2. Colorcode Index Cards (see screenshot)
  3. Move around Cards until its fine
  4. Edit Text
  5. Compile Textfile

In Word

  1. Delete Gists and Throughlines references
  2. Polish Textfile to make it one single text
  3. Send the Treatment somewhere

My questions are:

  • Do you go back to change Gists in Subtext for your Treatment?
  • Do you keep Throughlines and/or Gists for each paragraphs somewhere for later reference?
  • If you don’t keep the Gists/Throughlines and work on the screenplay weeks or month later how do you understand to the context of a certain paragraph?


Following this with interest!

Here’s mine (at least for my current project, although even when I plan ahead a bit more, the process is pretty close):


Thanks @mlucas. I like to work this way as well. The current project is for a treatment contest. I am just writing an Exposé. I might come back later to work out the treatment and screenplay. But not for now. So, how can I keep the references if I merge everything in one document? I am doing it like I have described it above. Just was wondering what others would do.


Forgot to say, very cool thread @Gernot. I love hearing about other people’s processes.

I try to keep Subtext as my only outline. I export the Markdown treatment, but Subtext itself is the “gold copy”. Of course, I’m not sending the treatment anywhere, just using it for myself.

One thing about the colour-coding of index cards, I would find that hard to do as I tend to intermingle throughline beats within the same scenes a lot. Though I guess it might be possible to colour-code based on each scene’s primary throughline focus.


I found the color coding for the treatment part helpful to keep the throughlines and each perspective separate. It also gives me a better picture of the sequence of the throughlines.

I would find that hard to do as I tend to intermingle throughline beats within the same scenes a lot.

Thats is also what I am tend to do. But does it not blur the message?

Armando talks in Dramatica for Screenwriters about sequencing and event order (e.g. OS, MC, IC, SS) for genres. I am not following this en detail but I like the idea a lot.

Also a good example how I am trying to do it nowadays is the playground exercise from Jim.

I am sure you know it, just as reference for other readers.

Studying Early Historic Cultures: Malina’s story begins in history class when a discussion of the World’s Greats inevitably leads students to guessing whether or not she will join the history books.


Just a suggestion…

I purposefully left out all reference to Throughlines in the Treatment view. It has been my experience that trying to write at the same time you’re thinking of Throughlines and Dramatica is a self-repeating loop that can be difficult to pull away from while writing.

If you’re still thinking about Throughlines in the Treatment phase, my suggestion would be to go back to the Storybeat or Throughline views and develop the Dramatica oriented material there.

This has the added benefit of removing doubt and reconsideration while you write. Constantly referring back to storyform is like riding a bike and constantly asking yourself, can I do this? Am I balancing myself right? Am I going to crash?

Eventually you have to forget all that and enjoy the ride.

That said, I don’t think what is there now is perfect, so it’s great to be able to see your process to see if there’s a way I can improve the process. So thank you for sharing!