"Reverse" Conceiving?

Earlier this year, I reread the Contextual Subgenres thread, and I had completely forgotten that the subgenres were possibly based on the Variations under the Type. The subgenres for Conceiving were Exposé (revealing something), Inception (planting an idea in the head of others) and Idea (coming up with an idea). The Variations were connected to the subgenres in this way:

conceiving quad3

There was an attempt at trying to figure out the missing subgenre under Conceiving (the one that would be based on Expediency) by looking at the quad through a TKAD lens (so Permission as Knowledge/Universe, Need as Ability/Physics, Deficiency as Thought/Mind, etc…). I tried to figure it out myself with the same method, but didn’t find anything interesting.

Today, I’ve realized my mistake: I wasn’t placing the Variations in the correct TKAD placements. Permission isn’t Knowledge, it’s restricted Ability. Deficiency is Desire seen in a negative light. Need is what’s required as seen through reason, it’s a form of Knowledge. And Expediency is the emotional counterpart to Need, in the same way Thought complements Knowledge. That means Expediency is best seen as similar to Thought/Mind/Energy, rather than like Desire/Psychology/Time as previously assumed.

Exposing something likely requires a lot of Activities (like gathering proof), it’s the Physics of getting an idea out there. Trying to plant ideas in others’ mind is an example of Manipulation, it’s changing how others think. Coming up with an idea demands a look at the static Universe and what it needs to get unstuck.

Since Expediency (missing subgenre) is in a dynamic pair with Need (coming up with an idea), then I started wondering if it could be about un-coming up with an idea… if that makes any sense. Not the lack of coming up with an idea (which would be about running out of ideas, or not being inspired enough), but some form of “reverse” Conceiving, where someone is trying to remove an idea out of someone’s (or their own) head.

It does fit with Mind, too, in that the idea is stuck, and Expediency, in the sense that someone might feel like they should stop having that idea (in order to avoid potential consequences). “Having an Idea Stuck in your Mind” is a Gist for Conceiving that always perplexed me because it felt a bit too similar to Mind, something that’s stuck, rather than a process like a Type from Psychology ought to be. But maybe it does work? Rather than the process of getting the idea, it’s the process of getting it out of your mind, trying to put it away that’s the source of conflict.

Would that be a correct example of Conceiving?

It reminds me of how Memory isn’t just about remembering (presence of Memory) or forgetting (absence of Memory), but also suppressing (“reverse” Memory, perhaps). But I’m not sure if that means I’m on the right track at all.


I have no idea if your theory is right (though it sounds convincing), but it made me think of Crazy Rich Asians, where the OS throughline is about “fitting into the family/business”, and the Goal is (something like) changing someone’s idea of who you are.

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Just a thought, but one level up developing a plan/Conceptualizing is opposed to coming up with an idea/Conceiving.

Just kind of thinking out loud, so to speak…
Knowledge/Mass/Universe-What is the nature of conceiving/a concept? Let’s look at it and see what this conceiving/concept is and what it is able to do.

Thought/Energy/Mind- How can conceiving/a concept be a force for change? Let’s incept an idea so they will do something different, something that we want them to do.

Ability/Space/Physics- Which concept/conceiving will be best suited to handle a task? Let’s come up with several ideas and try them out until we find the one we need.

Desire/Time/Psychology- Why and/or how is conceiving/the concept changing or evolving? Let’s try to…plan ahead? Be flexible in our planning? Let’s look at what conceiving/the concept should address?
Or maybe - How can conceiving/the concept be changed for the better? Should we have a plan B? Should we plan something different?
…i dunno.

@Panstraw this is a cool concept. Interestingly, when I tried to imagine an actual story about removing ideas, it felt more like it would be about changing an idea. Sort of like conceiving a new way of thinking about a given idea (with one option being that the new way of thinking is not to think about it at all – to remove it).

I feel like most of the time to remove an idea, you would replace it with a new one that’s somehow related to the first – i.e. conceive of a new way of thinking about whatever subject area the idea covered.

But I was a bit hesitant about my thoughts on this, and refrained from posting – until I happened to see @Greg’s post a little later in the master thread:

And I think it would relate to Expediency similarly to @jhay’s earlier explanations, i.e. these are stories where you should conceive of a new way of thinking about an idea.

Just my two cents though!


I knew I posted something but I was too ashamed to go back and read whatever silly thing I had to say back then. Sounds like my thinking is still along those same lines, though.

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Personally, I feel like this is a valid interpretation of conceiving, but it wouldn’t work as the ‘missing’ subgenre because it is, ultimately, about coming up with an idea. It’s inverse-Inception, basically, but the core idea is the same.

If, say, your character’s girlfriend has this intrusive thought that you’re going to leave her and it’s destroying the relationship, how do they get that idea out of her head? They could make her view them as someone reliable, they could physically go into her mind and try to remove it (in an Inception-style story), they could be a total psychopath and gaslight her. But all of it, ultimately, is about coming up with or planting an idea – if planting an idea is ‘this is a good idea,’ then removing an idea is just ‘this is a bad idea.’ They’re the same thing, the context is just different.

Regarding what I wrote all that time ago (I also have been avoiding looking back for the same reason as @Greg !) about the variations, I’m still kind of ‘ehh’ on that because I have no way of knowing which lines up with which. But I do still think that the missing one is under ‘expediency.’

The problem with this is that it completely reconceives and reshuffles the Dramatica theory in a way that isn’t accurate, and it’s why I was resistant to apply the subgenres to variations in the first place. The variations themselves are definitely in the right placements (Permission is the knowledge of what you are or are not allowed to do, Need is the ability to do what you must, Expediency is the desire to be efficient/get it done, Deficiency is the thought of what is lacking).

If we apply the version you thought up here: Permission is restricted ability, so you can’t do what you want. Sure, but the point is you know what you can’t do. You can do things without permission, you can want things you’re not allowed, you can think about things you’re not supposed to think about. But, ultimately, it comes back to you knowing what is and is not permitted.

Deficiency is Desire in a negative light. Not necessarily. You could argue it’s Ability in a negative light (“you lack skill!”) or Knowledge in a negative light (“you’re an idiot!”) – it’s just about what is lacking. Which comes back to thought. Gonna quote the official definition here: “Deficiency is closely related to Need, but where Needs are always defined by their context and the purpose which makes them seem necessary, Deficiency does not require a purpose.” So, in other words, you need water to survive, but obsessing over your lack of muscles is just a thought problem. It’s not rooted in empirical fact (knowledge), it’s not essential (ability) and it might not even be something you want (desire). It’s just a thought.

Expediency is the emotional counterpart to Need. This applies emotion to a logical concept. Need is simply what is required – you need water. You’re unable to survive without it. You might want to live without it, you might think you could live without it, you might even know that some animals do live without it. But we, as humans, are simply unable.

That aside, I’m pretty sure now, if you still want to find that other missing piece, it’ll be in movies like The Worst Person in the World or The Big Sick, neither of which line up with the other three ‘genres’ but share a specific kind of ‘feel’ about personal growth.


Also it will never not be amazing to me that people are still going back to this wild, semi-foolish idea I had years ago to work all this out.

Thank you for that! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Also pretty cool to see some decent discussion on these boards – been very quiet lately!


I remember that thread being pretty instrumental to me getting a much better understanding of Dramatica – in particular the “personality” of stories. So I’m very grateful you did it!


I hadn’t thought of it like that!

That was kind of my conclusion as well. I’ll look into the movies you mentioned when I can.

Oh, I didn’t know! I initially thought that the TKAD placement wasn’t the same for all quads. Deficiency is described as “appraisal of what is lacking” in the software, too. I had trouble understanding some of these Variations, so your explanation was pretty enlightening!


No problem! They can be very hard to grasp (I also still, to this day, struggle with Deduction and Induction and have to think of them as ‘narrowing down’ and ‘widening up’), but you’re on the right track with your illustrations for sure!


To be fair, I think my biggest issue with understanding Induction and Deduction is that “finding common ground” is a Gist for Induction and “identifying a common element” is a Gist for Deduction. I guess you could see the former as more inclusive/regrouping and the latter as exclusive/geared toward narrowing down but I feel like I’m splitting hairs.

Muse has your answer :blush: Induction vs. Deduction

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I like Muse’s answer. But I was also going to say that, I think of them as ‘narrowing down’ and ‘widening up’ too – except I feel like that makes me an expert on them. :stuck_out_tongue:


I believe the old George Costanza rule applies to this: it’s not a lie… if you believe it.

You are now an expert in Induction and Deduction. Put that one on the ol’ resume and see the millions ROLL IN! :clap:


Would it be possible to post the images here? I don’t have a Discord account.

Can you not see the screenshot Jim attached? It’s added to this site so you shouldn’t need a Discord account to view it.

Oh wait, I realize you probably want the continuation…