How do you illustrate an issue not covered by the Variations?

The Issue in my story is Intellectualism vs. Action -- a group of high-ranking military officers are set aside by a group of intellectuals. I can't find those listed in Dramatica's 64 Variations. Which ones should I use?

Really, it could be anything. If you haven't already done so, it might be helpful to identify the throughline in which this Issue resides. Also, assigning the throughline to a Domain (Situation, Activity, Fixed Attitude, or Manipulation) will help you even further.

Choosing the Throughlines, the Domains, and even the Concerns in your story provide specific context within which to understand the inequity you have chosen to examine. Treat the A vs. B conflict you described as the SUBJECT MATTER under examination rather than two pieces of a Dramatica thematic conflict. Dramatica helps you determine what YOU want to say ABOUT that conflict by giving you a thematic context within which you can explore it to its greatest depths.

Let's assume, for the moment, you haven't made ANY structural choices. I'll give you a sense of the variety of choices you have (though technically you have all 64 possibilities open to you).

Using the subject matter of "Intellectualism vs. Action", the Issue might be:

  • Preconception: There is a certain bias against military officers OR a bias in favor of intellectuals.
  • Security: Brain is favored over brawn in determining how to improve things as they develop. Or maybe the powers that be feel safer listening to intellectuals than the military.
  • Attempt: The intellectuals appear more capable in trying something new over a risk-averse military.
  • Approach: The intellectuals are called in for a diplomatic approach over the typically aggressive military approach.
  • Analysis: There is a need to learn more about an enemy for which the intellectuals are more capable than the military.
  • Truth: The intellectuals are thought to be better at recovering the truth from lost memories than the more assertive military's physical truth extraction tactics.
  • Denial: The intellectuals are chosen in order to deny the Military what it wants most.
  • Deficiency: The intellectuals are chosen because of a perceived (or real) deficiency in the military leadership.
  • Circumstances: The intellectuals are chosen in order to manipulate the circumstances in which a government finds itself, something for which the military may not be well-suited.

And so on...Without context, the story can go in any direction.