Thoughts on Justifications and Premise

Thanks for the clarification Jim. And apologies about my lengthy posts. I didn’t realize there was a one-post at a time rule when I rambled on.

I think I understand about Unless. It’s about shared inequity, one that both sides contain. I guess I’m still a bit confused about how you’re forming that justification statement using the quads. It appears to be: (Inertia)+(want, need, should, can) in order to (Context). Are you forming the idea for the context using the dynamic pair in the quad or are you just creating a context that seems appropriate?

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No worries. My eyes tend to glaze over when confronted with giant walls of text. The limit is there to make sure we don’t miss any good ideas (which there were in your post).

As far as my example goes:

People should stick with traditions in order to feel a part of something UNLESS being apathetic towards disturbing customs keeps you emotionally centered

I used an understanding of the 1st and 2nd levels of justification (Being and Conceiving) to format the first half, and a mix of the 2nd and 3rd levels to generate the second.

Both sides focus on the process of Inertia, and I used the list of Illustrations in Subtext to quickly find two examples I was drawn towards.

If we’re trying to illustrate an inequity then it makes sense to use the processes of justification to speak our way around it.

First Half

People should stick with traditions in order to feel a part of something

Is based on this structure:

People CONCEIVE in order to BE

I then look under each Type (Conceiving and Being) to find reference points of greater specificity that remain in context of the structure.

“Should” is common vernacular for Expediency (found under Conceiving) and “feel a part” is somewhere in-between Thought and Desire (under Being). They don’t have to be isolated to a single Variation underneath as the initial structural format calls only for a general appreciation of “Being”.

Second Half

being apathetic towards disturbing customs keeps you emotionally centered

Is based on this structure:


Moving from Conceiving to Conceptualizing signals a Linear Mindset in the Justification process. I chose it for ease of use. :grin: “Leads to” defines a cause and effect relationship—again, ideal for the linear path.

“Being apathetic towards something” and really, the whole statement, is a process of getting others to think differently—to “Conceive” of an alternate truth. Whether it falls under Need or Deficiency or Expediency or Permission is inconsequential, the essential component is the flow towards Conceiving.

“Keeping you emotionally centered” is a Conceptualizing through Circumstances or State of Being, and maybe even Sense of Self (all found under Conceptualizing).


As seems to be often the case with this exercise, further examination reveals an illustration of an inequity bordering on a progressive complication.

The second half’s reference towards “disturbing customs” almost sounds like the inverse of the first half. In other words, one half move towards the tradition, the other half holds back, or prevents it altogether.

Removing the reference to the storytelling centers the illustration:

People should stick with traditions in order to feel a part of something UNLESS being apathetic towards feeling you lack purpose keeps you emotionally centered

It’s a slight change, but one that will be demonstrably different when it comes to writing the eventual story.

With the original illustration, we pit the old-world crowd against the slackers in a “Will they or won’t they?” dichotomy. In the second, we feature two positive assertions at cross-purposes with one another—with unlimited paths for them to take.

The next pass generates the potential needed to expand the story, rather than contract—a better path when it comes to inventing new story ideas.


Is there a difference between “in order to” and “leads to”? Or it’s just a question of syntax?

Grammar wise: “in order to” go somewhere to do something by opening a gate and a flowing river “leading to” a waterfall.

But, sometimes, Dramatica is not strictly tied to grammar. I await the answer with you.

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I quite like this, depending on which one is which…

For me - “in order to” describes a simultaneous relationship discrete from time, “leads to” is strict cause and effect, if this then that…

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Okay! I think I’m starting to get it. This is a great explanation and I now understand how to use it with individual story elements.

One last question. Does the beginning order always have to start with Conceiving to Being? Couldn’t it start with one of the other dynamic pairs like Conceptualizing to Conceiving ala “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

Many Thanks

Sure, I don’t see why not.

That’s more of a relational Holistic connection than the cause and effect of leads to in my example, but there’s nothing wrong with it at all.

I haven’t given this thread enough energy… I wish I could put it on my calendar to alert me to read it in March or some future date when I can at least pretend I’ll have time to do so…

EDIT: holy cow, there is a way to set a future alarm, which I coincidentally just stumbled on accidentally!