Idea for Justification Machine

@bobRaskoph, in light of the most recent developments, I wonder if there is any way to make an advanced version of the justification machine to include the rest of the statements.

Instead of simply pairing off the elements, if it could also include a drop-down for the perspective +conceiving/being/ Element UNLESS conceiving/conceptualizing Element:

Conceiving in order to Being ___ element UNLESS Conceiving ___ element leads to Conceptualizing

(The/my/our/their) (Want/can/need/should-duty) ___element …(knowledge ability thought desire)…UNLESS ____element (…) leads to (situation/circumstance/state of being/sense of self)

For example, instead of Control (Element): Organizing vs. Guiding Something

It would end up as: My want for organizing something leads to knowing something UNLESS the need for guiding something leads to a sense of self).

Your resources at Raskoph | Dramatica are fantastic. Thanks for all you do for this community!!

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I cannot help with this tool but…
Could you please share some light on how you use those pairs?
I have to confess I can’t get the ‘justification’ or at least I’m not sure if I get it right.

A justification is your reason for engaging in a process.
“I need a car” is an unjustified statement.
“I need a car in order to be able to get to a job” is a justified statement.

Conflict is when you have two justifications that you cannot hold to simultaneously.
“I need a car in order to be able to get to a job” and “I should hide my identity in order to avoid being found.”
If getting a car in order to get to a job means exposing my identity, then I cannot simultaneously engage in both of these processes. I will either need a car and risk exposing my identity or I will need to hide my identity and find some other way to get to a job.

This gives us the format in didomachiatto’s post. “I need a car in order to get to a job unless I should hide my identity in order to avoid being found.” This was once (and maybe still is?) commonly referred to as a justification statement though it’s really more of a conflict statement.

A problem is when you have justified a process but because of a conflict are unable to engage in that process (others may disagree with that, this is how I use it, though).
“Getting a car” is not a problem. “Getting a car causes my identity to be exposed” is a problem.
“Hiding my identity” is not a problem. “Hiding my identity prevents me from getting a car” is a problem.

Tension (again, this is how I use all of this, results may vary), and the bulk of what happens in a story comes from an attempt to hold both conflicting justifications at the same time.
“If getting a car risks exposing my identity, then I won’t get a car” provides no tension. “If getting a car risks exposing my identity, then I will steal a car, or maybe use a false I.D. to get the car” provides tension.

How tense the tension is depends on the situation. If there is a car with the keys in the ignition and no one watching and you have no moral compunction, stealing a car won’t be very tense. If there is a car with the keys locked inside of a house with an alarm and a pack of guard dogs and the guy that lives there owns a bunch of guns, the police are circling the block, and you know Santa Claus is watching,the tension will be much more tense.

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Thanks @Greg I love your explanation and the example. To further drill it down, when on the variation level how would an issue show up?

Like in your example

have no moral compunction …

Could this be the an illustration of Obtaining and a scene of Self-Interst, Approach … showing how the guy sneaks around the house?

I have my way of using it today but would be interested how you apply the concept above.

Thanks anayway.

Thank you for the explanation. I saw few articles on justification but right now I feel like I’m starting to get the point.
Justification generator is capable of providing pairs on four Dramatica levels.
Is there a direct connection to Armando’s Instant Dramatica that we can utilize?
For example we are working on the ‘OS Domain and Concern’ (let’s say Activity + Obtaining) scene in a first act.
Does it make any sense to set "Type’ Level and ‘Obtaining’ Term? Or I’m still in the wrong room?

The essence of a justification/conflict is this: Putting two equally valid arguments against each other, but those which cannot both be true at the same time creates tension in a scene. If the scene is about CAUSE, for example, the tension between the IC and MC (or whichever OS characters) could be two different arguments using cause…

  • Cause (Element): Starting Something vs. Instigating Something
  • Cause (Element): Inciting a Particular Group to Do Something vs. Being the Genesis of Something

What I asked is tied to the Subtext/Conflict Corner discussions/lessons where the full conflict description essentially brings in perspective (i/you/we/they) + being (can/will/may/should) + element (dropdown) in order to (knowledge/ability/thought/desire) compared by “UNLESS” perspective +conceiving leads to conceptualization (situation/circumstance/state of being/sense of self).

So for MC: I can start something in order to know ultimate power UNLESS being the genesis of change leads to a negative circumstance.

Not a very good example, but it uses the elements in order. So in context of a story, this very general almost story-neutral example can become: I can start a business in order to become the most powerful CEO Wall street has ever known UNLESS being the owner of a business will expose my hidden identity to my greatest enemy.

or it can be: I can start a family and bear a child in order to never be alone UNLESS becoming a mother will exempt me from my uncle’s inheritance.

That’s a basic explanation of this principle. My suggestion to the justification/conflict machine creator is to have more dropdowns to be able to create that entire conflict statement.

You can distinguish different levels in how each level engages in a process. Engaging in or with a purpose of having no moral compunction would be different than engaging in a methodology of having no moral compunction or an evaluation or a motivation of having no moral compunction.

A purpose would desire an end result of having no moral compunction. A motivation would have a character driven to act by or because of having no moral compunction.

Similarly, you can distinguish different perspectives of an issue in how that issue is explored. You can explore the nature of having no moral compunction (OS), or you can explore the values of (MC), the impact/influence of (IC), or the meaning of having no moral compunction (RS).

…Also, just for clarity, the way I used “moral compunction” in the previous post wasn’t really as an issue. It was more of an attempt to remove any stakes the story might have to show why stealing a car would not be particularly tense. No moral compunction about stealing a car means no inner turmoil to explore after having done it.

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Not sure I understand your question – are you asking if you an apply two differenet levels to the same conflict statement? If so, I would say no – it’s best to pit different illustrations of the same storypoint against each other.

The brilliance of Armando’s approach is that it demonstrates a more intuitive way to turn storypoints into fluid storytelling – hence combining Domain and Concern.

The problem for a lot (all?) of us is making sure that everything we encode is actually creating problems/conflict. This is harder than it looks, which is why the conflict exercise @didomachiatto references is great practice. It is quite time and energy consuming though – so I wouldn’t feel like you have to apply it everywhere, especially if you feel like you’ve illustrated the conflict in that story point already.

I updated the linked page slightly

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Wow! You never cease to amaze me!

@Lakis , @didomachiatto
Thank you very much.
I have read articles on justification once again, and… almost faint having another ‘flash in mind’ moment.
So there it is:
I don’t want to be in mob business unless I have no other choice to protect my family.
I want to be alone unless I fall in love.
I have to retire replicants unless I’m in love with one.
I need to dig a little deeper but… my Lord, thank you for bringing Dramatica creators into this world :slight_smile:

If you use the updated justification machine, you can see that there is a little bit missing.

First, it should be a general enough statement that is void of context…like your second statement is pretty void of context and could be anyone in a million stories.

Second, you need purpose statements, and after you include those, you need the two sides to be mutually exclusive. Like the alone unless I fall in love.

But more like, I want to be alone in order to love myself UNLESS by losing touch with myself I can fall in love. (I’m not sure of your elements, but that shows that both are not possible to exist at the same time, so it creates tension and internal/external conflict).

I don’t want to run an illegal business in order to pursue an upright life UNLESS sacrificing integrity guarantees the security of my family.

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I guess I have one:
Djokovic wants to win AO to prove he is the best in the business unless he does not want to get vaccinated to live in accordance with his beliefs.

Could you please give me one more rope. Are the results of justification exercises/workshops available in this forum or some other website?