Writing With Subtext

I feel like you are contradicting me by saying exactly what I said.

I see. So to restate: this circles back to @mlucas point that Drivers usually coincide with/are connected to the previous and/or next Signpost/PSR beat.

So to use your example, maybe this…

…gets so extreme and controversial that the university makes national news, which brings it to the attention of Obama’s campaign manager, who then Decides to come and help. If one were using the PSR, this decision could be connected to/inspired by those variations (I can’t think of any good examples now…) in addition to whatever everyone is Doing in the second signpost.

Is that kind of what you meant?

Yes, that is what I meant. Ultimately, stories feel cohesive, and your extension of my example is a great way to make one thing flow to the next.

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A key thing here. Noticed this in my tearing down of Casablanca. It’s weird but Rick’s throughline (SP1) doesn’t kick in till the second act (by conventional standards of time; a good third of the entire film). What’s was even more intriguing is the mixing of the PSR variations in a non-sequential order: I’m guessing this might be an exposition- storytelling choice or something?
Quite interesting.

So, I’m gonna bump the thread to say I really liked episode seven.

And, holy cow, @jhull, thank you for “People need to kill [the tiger] in order to stay alive unless every life is precious.” I have to admit, the whole time I was thinking something along those lines, the entire time.

Mine was, “…unless they believe it is more important to respect nature”. But, that’s probably because I happen to be more on the influence character side there… (Not completely, but more. A synthesis of sorts.)

Actually, real story time: When I was a child, my dad and I were on a hike one day and came across a bear. We were standing near the path her cubs took, and she was looking our way trying to decide if she should go straight across the path, or come down to where we were. It was scary, but it’s always stayed with me as a way of showing how having respect for nature can be a very important thing.

That’s a fun exercise, though. I need to do it for my own story…


I’ve been so appreciating these Writing with Subtext, to get into the mind of the writer when approaching the OS especially. I’m trying to get my head around how to write Protagonist in OS without it being MC. This series was very useful, and I’ve missed it over the past two months.

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I’m glad you like it!

I love doing it as well–right now, I’m in the midst of making some huge upgrades to Subtext, most of which will lay the foundation for even more integration with classes, developing stories, and pretty much all things Dramatica.

Once I get this rolled out, I will definitely be diving back into it (assuming Diane will still be interested!)


Okay so I finally managed to listen to Episode 7 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWtLZlUIWLs) and I agree with @Hunter, this one was great. HIGHLY recommended!

This episode set off lightbulbs. I have had that narrative first article (https://narrativefirst.com/articles/a-method-for-generating-conflict) bouncing around in my head for a couple of years but this is the first time I felt like I was starting to get it. Not only that, but I feel like it’s key to actually understanding what having two different “perspectives” between the IC and MC really MEANS (rather than just illustrating the individual storypoints of the two throughlines in isolation).

Another thanks to @jhull and @jassnip!


you couldn’t drive me away !

Jim and I will be getting back to this but right now I’m in So cal, with a tablet and a to-do list as long as my body. I’m scheduled to fly home on the 21st. At which point I can resume my happy job as Dramatica student surrogate.

| do apologize for all the delay but I had to get my kids out of a hellish situation. I know y’all get that family comes first. Thank you for your patience.