So this answer, like other things in Dramatica, is going to be an approximation because I’m not sure I can do the explanation justice. Not sure this is really what you meant, But, for me, it’s something like this.
Genre-just as a box office genre tells us where the entertainment comes from (horror, romance, etc) I look for the Dramatica Genre to tell us where the
Conflict comes from. Is the source of conflict generally external, phsychologucal, etc? This is looking at every process within the throughline that creates conflict.
Then I also look for a broader description of a problem that sort of ties those events together thematically (‘thematically’ here meaning ‘with similar storytelling’, or a Gist)
Plot-just like a traditional plot, I look for Plot to describe the larger story events. At some level Shawshank Redemption is about hope and institutionalization, but at the plot level, it’s all prison beatings and hole digging and such.
But there’s Sign Post Plot and then Concern Plot. To get the Concern Plot, I need a description of the plot as a whole. Dinosaur carnage wouldn’t describe the plot of JurassicPark, or instance. Just the last half. To describe that plot in full you’d need to mention the running of a dinosaur zoo.
Issue-the theme level. This is where I look for value standards. ‘We need to eliminate the threat if we want to survive’, or ‘it’s important that we represent a bigger threat than they do if we don’t want to be attacked’. I like to look for this in dialogue but I think it can be found in actions and the narration around the characters. I tend to think of Issue as ‘smaller’ than plot, or as fitting inside of Plot. Just like Plot and Genre, there’s a version of this in a given scene and then an overall version.
Problem- character level, drive, the smallest level. Where Plot is a large event, like being ignored until a restaurant gets destroyed, character is smaller, within the character. Where pot is being ignored until things get broke, character might be the determination to get noticed or something.
All of those have an ‘in scene’ version and a ‘describes the whole story’ version. I can connect ‘now they’re taking over here’ to throwing chairs, or the past invasion to present hatred, but have a hard time connecting a past invasion to throwing chairs.