I just went back and listened to Chris’s talk on substories vs subplots on Jim’s podcast from 2017.
Let me state what I think I’m understanding, so the seers can correct me.
A subplot exists in the same storyspace as the story form, and is a shorter duplicate of the storyform. A subplot elevates one of the Overall Characters and deals with the theme of the story in a different way. The characters don’t change types or roles, except for the OC who is elevated to MC during the subplot. A subplot tells the same story, in short form, and gets a different point from it. It’s a way of showing the theme in a different light in a quick sketch. (See Armando’s chapter, Characters are subplots). Think of all those Shakespeare comedies where the lesser romance is going on while the main romance is going on too. The subplot is a kind of shadow of the main plot.
A substory exists in the same narrative space as the first story form, but is a separate storyform, meaning that the MC might be the IC in this story, the IC might be just an OC and so on. (Think Pulp Fiction, or Han Solo’s story in Star Wars). According to Chris, this is often a great way to solve a problem in the main story, a kind of second process that has to be completed, and deliver a result, before the main story can complete (for all you software developers out there, a background thread).
So, for a substory, use Dramatica to create your second story form, bring it into Subtext, voila.
For a subplot, sounds like a better method might be just to add steps for characters in Subtext itself and make sure they line up with the story form.
Let the throwing of water bottles commence. I got teargassed in front of the White House last week, I can take anything you’ve got.
I just used Subtext to give me help with a 14k novelette. Worked very well. First thing I’ve completed in 3 years, as I was struggling to get my writing superpowers back. Now feel like I saw the process from inside.
To my astonishment, because I had the basics scenes worked out, I also wrote 8000 words in one day. That’s a first. Hey, I’m not saying it was Samuel Taylor Coleridge, but it was good enough for what it needed to be.