Difference between Conscious and Consider

Hey Jim, just want to poke at something earlier in the thread:

I would suggest “being inconsiderate” could fit either Conscious or Consider, depending on the “level” that they come across in the story (Plot vs. Character, though it’s not always easy to tell).

For Consider it’s like, you didn’t stop to weigh the pros and cons of how your actions might hurt someone, that kind of thing. That’s probably why the gist was there in DSE / Subtext. There are lots of good examples of this in Notting Hill which has an OS Problem of Consider, though of course the feel of that story is WAY different than an OS in Conscious. Also Notting Hill is definitely about weighing pros and cons, at its core!

(NOTE: this is not a comment on the Planes… storyform … been way too long since I’ve seen that, though now I want to again!)


Oh. Are you saying being inconsiderate is NOT weighing pros and cons?


That’s where I was confused. Inconsiderate, at least on the surface, seems like a negative for consider. Negative Conscious seems more like ignoring.

Isn’t there a law in Canada that you have to watch all John Candy movies annually? :smile:


Yes, definitely. And “being considerate” (also a gist for Consider) is weighing pros and cons (taking that other person’s feelings or whatever into account when you do so).

The really interesting one is “consider someone something” … like if I consider you a genius, or consider Subtext awesome, or consider Hero’s Journey too limiting, that kind of thing. Definitely fits Consider, with an emphasis on the “weighing pros” for the things you consider good, and “weighing cons” for the things you consider bad.


So I split this into a new topic because I think it deserves its own place.

I have two, maybe three, problems with these Elements being the same in terms of “being inconsiderate.” And it probably has to do with my bias as to what being inconsiderate means;

  1. They’re not in the same position relative to other elements. Consider is Knowledge and Conscious Thought. In fact, Conscious is the Thought of the Thought…so it’s even more removed

  2. The dynamic pair of Consider is Reconsider. The dynamic pair of Conscious is Memory. Memory is not equivalent to Reconsider. In fact, I would equate Reconsider with Conscious thought.

  3. Consider is a measure of Knowledge. What I know vs. what I don’t know. Conscious is a measure of Thought. Thinking vs. not Thinking. Not Thinking is what I would equate with “being inconsiderate” as in I’m not conscious of you (which is a factor of appraisals and lack of investigations).

The more I think about it (Conscious), the more apt I am to Consider “being inconsiderate” only an illustration of Conscious.


Maybe the general usage of the word “inconsiderate” is not specific enough.

You can be inconsiderate by being thoughtless (Conscious). I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.

If you fail to consider the pros and cons of your words or actions, this can be inconsiderate, too. Example from Notting Hill: Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) when she speaks dismissively of William Thacker (Hugh Grant) to a colleague and he overhears. I think most people would say this fits the definition of inconsiderate, and I think it stems from the Problem of Consider – she does a poor job weighing the cons of her words.
I can see what you mean about Knowledge, though, because this feels like you should know better. There is an aspect of thoughtlessness too, but I find the KTAD stuff all blurry at the lower levels anyway.

Perhaps for Consider, “being inconsiderate” is more of an effect or after the fact attribution, rather than the true source of conflict itself? I think it’s still useful as a gist, but of course you have to consider that no gist is going to be perfectly accurate.

P.S. Thanks for splitting this topic!


Seems like a classic case of a word having a lot of different meanings. Maybe inconsiderate is too broad of a term?

Perhaps making the gists more specific would be beneficial in the long run.

I would think drawing a stronger line between being thoughtless / oblivious and being dismissive / judgemental / thinking you know better would be helpful.


Yes, and the positions aren’t always the same. But you’ll notice Consider is in the same position for all four Domains, because it’s locked down to Knowledge. I’m starting to think the gists need to be more specific than general.

Of course, you can always do what you want in a story. You can make Consider mean Bananas if you want - as long as you keep it consistent. But keeping the flavor of Consider with the Domains and Issues is probably best.

For instance, Consider is only:

  • Consideration in terms of Openness (why should I be open?)
  • Consideration in terms of Approach (what is the best approach to get what I want)
  • Consideration in terms of Rationalization (when it OK to make up excuses)
  • Consideration in terms of Closure (how do I know it’s time to close things off)

Speaking dismissively–I would think the source of conflict there is I consider you “less than” you are. You now know what I think of you (how I consider you).

I can see Being Inconsiderate as an extension of Consider, but it seems like it’s one step removed from it (like one more level of justification up)


Yes! This is what I was grasping at when I said “more of an effect or after-the-fact attribution”.

I think it might depend on what you’re using the gists for. I honestly think that for a writer with say an OS Problem of Consider, if they have most of the rest of the story (throughlines) screwed into their head right, but are just trying to get a handle on how to use Consider to drive conflict … the gist “being inconsiderate” is GREAT. Unlike many of the other, rather dry Consider gists, it’s got so much meaty dramatic potential. And since they’re pretty solid on the rest of their storyform, their storymind should naturally gravitate to using it properly, like with your examples of “speaking dismissively”.

But if someone is doing analysis, or writing without a solid grasp of their storyform, I could see how it might steer them wrong.


Feel free to break this off if I’m pulling things off topic, Jim.

Speaking of gists and their specificity or accuracy, some of the gists for Becoming have seemed a little off for me.

Take “becoming a king” as an example.

That has the word becoming in it, but as a gist it doesn’t feel like it carries the Psychology flavor. It feels more like status or Universe flavored. Where as “becoming a worthy king” or “becoming a tyrannical king” seem to have more of that psychological flavor. Even “becoming kingly / king-like”.

Becoming is such a slippery element to begin with. Greater accuracy in the gists may shorten the path to understanding.


It seems like there should be two ways to look at this.

  1. What we’re really talking about are two separate processes. something like ‘taking into account’ vs ‘deliberating’, as they relate to a non-dramatica term. So you have to look at what inconsiderate means and decide whether inconsiderate means something like ‘taking into account’ or something like ‘deliberating’. One can take into account or not and one can deliberate what one has taken into account or one can not deliberate what one has taken into account, but one cannot deliberate (or not) what one has not take into account. In order to deliberate, one must take into account. So if looking at the words, ‘inconsiderate’ can only work for one. Which one simply depends on how one defines ‘inconsiderate’.

  2. What we’re really talking about here is not the words themselves, but perspectives on the words. Lets say that objectively what happened was that person one was struggling with an armload of boxes and couldn’t open a door while person two was inconsiderate and walked around them, walked through the door, and let it slam shut behind them before person one could get through. From one place it might look like person two simply didn’t take person one into account. And yet from another place it might look like person two took person one into account and just didn’t deliberate whether they should have held the door open. One view is that person two implemented being inconsiderate (Conscious/Plot) in order to get through the door while another view is that person two was motivated by inconsiderate (Consider/Character). So inconsiderate can work for either one, but only that one at that time, depending on whether one is looking from here or from there.

So what settles the debate on non-dram terms? Is it what we’re looking at or where we’re looking from?

This is a really interesting thread! I don’t have anything to add to Conscious/Consider, but I wanted to follow up on Becoming (does this need another thread? :grin: )

I might be missing something, but in spite of it being under Psychology, I don’t understanding Becoming as something conventionally “psychological” or even entirely “internal”. This is especially true when you’re talking about groups.

The short Dramatica definition of Becoming is “transforming one’s nature” – the best synonym I can think of for this is existential transformation. So very often in an action story the Consequence of failing to Obtain something is Becoming dead. That’s not psychological, it’s existential.

Or look at Beauty and the Beast. Couldn’t you make a case that the Beast and his servants are stuck in a Situation, in the same way that a story about a blind woman or an Olympic runner with no legs could be an MC of Situation?

But Beauty and the Beast clearly has an OS Concern of Becoming – it’s an existential problem.

(I hope I’m right about this because I recently submitted a gist to Jim of “Becoming an Independent Nation” that works perfectly for my current story!)


I don’t necessarily disagree. :smile: I think what I’m getting at is that something like “becoming an independent nation” could be in any domain depending on the Author’s context. Adding a little Psychology flavoring helps pin it down.

ETA: The Becoming in Beauty and the Beast is more about changing the Prince from being an a–hole into a better person, right? :slight_smile:


I love your fresh perspective on the gists. Truly, the elements will need more specificity when gistifying them going forward. Great post!


Yes, for sure. So maybe that’s not the best example :slight_smile: . I guess what I’m getting at is this feeling of total transformation – not just his mentality.

So it’s not that I disagree that having a little Psychology flavoring is bad – I would just be concerned that we not narrow the gists to the point where we lose that total transformation feeling. (e.g. – how do you express “becoming dead” with a psychological flavor?)

Totally agree with this. An interesting exercise might be to take the same storytelling and try to express it in each domain:

becoming a king
obtaining the throne
securing your future as the king of the country
fulfilling your heart’s desire to be king


Thanks @Khodu!

I agree. There’s definitely a back and forth to be had here on where the boundaries are. A gist is supposed to be hand-wavy anyway.

I just had flashbacks to every Dramatica terminology argument I’ve read on here and worry if we’re doing a disservice to people by having things be too broad.

Ha! I was just doing this with the same results. Did you notice they all fall into the lower left “desire” position?


I always think of Brave. In some scenes Queen Elinor has obtained a bear form but still thinks like a human, like in the scene where she tries to cover herself and Merida tells her she’s not naked, she’s covered in fur. But in other scenes, she’s nosing through things and trying to catch fish and actually starting to think not like a bear but actually as a bear, and those scenes are more like Becoming.


Hi @Lakis. I actually think that having things be more specific helps the author provide the reader/audience with something more concrete. A richer experience, because their writing goal is clearer.

Having an adjective/adverb qualify the word drills down to the core of the element in question. So like in our current example: Becoming.

Becoming dead. It’s clear. It has the elements of transformation. But it is also vague. It leaves the author’s mind to wander(which isn’t a bad thing) ,but if you’re planning to do this for a living, then time is of the essence.

My own process leans more to the specific. I let the thematic issue feed that Class element. So from our example, Becoming could be gistified as.
Becoming a martyr. (To be killed and seen a such a symbol has a strong Psychological flavour).

Lets have another go. We’ll use @glennbecker 's example.

Obtaining the throne. (Clear but not specific. We could sing our way to the Iron throne or beg for it).
But when peppered with theme(self-interest) we could have: Genocide is the only way to win the Iron Throne.
I think that helps my mind more when writing.

If we do a MC Throughline example: The Dark Horse. MC : Preconscious.
My take: A “Bipolar” chess player is worried about the correctness of his behaviour…( The Dark Horse ). The adjective qualifies his personal struggle and it syncs easily with the Issue.

All these are great but what it does for the author is that he/she knows the specifics and so can choose to illustrate things vaguely for effect if he/she wants to.


Well, that was intentional :slight_smile: . It’s actually a lot harder to do with different quads, which I guess tells you something.

I agree – too broad is useless and defeating the point. On the other hand it’s only recently that I’ve started getting more confidence in going with my gut when my storytelling doesn’t seem at first glance to fit with whatever particular Dramatica storypoint. In the past I would work myself in circles trying to figure out if x particular plot point is really an example of Preconditions or Prerequisites or something else entirely, and nothing in the list fits. I’m afraid that taking gists away is just going to make that problem worse.

But now that I think about it, maybe what I want is not more general gist, but a larger number of more specific ones to choose from?

Wow! I can’t believe I never thought of that… I’m definitely going to use that approach!

I can’t argue with that. Illustrating a story that way is much better than just becoming dead.

Okay you both may have provisionally convinced me. Reading these responses actually have me thinking about the value of pushing myself to get way more specific in illustrating my own stories.


That’s only if you assume “becoming a king” refers to a position or title. Anyone can wear a crown,sit on a throne and make decisions. Anyone can play the part of a king. If you give me the position of king, I’ll still be a middle class nobody with no leadership skills. In order to fill the position I would still need to change my nature to that of a king. Or if I am a king and get ousted, i no longer hold that position. But I still think as a king. So I do see a very psychological flavor to it.