Complications Before Problems...

Question: I know what I am going to write. I have been theorizing about it, I know the characters; the plot, I have fleshed it out in an outline, I have written down a shadow of what will be the first chapter... I just don't know how to create the Preconditions and the Prerequisites.


Answer: Do keep in mind that the purpose of theory is to stimulate creative solutions, not create barriers to writing.

It may be that you won't discover the Preconditions and Prerequisites until you are in the midst of the writing process.

However, if you know the Requirements (what the characters must do to achieve the Story Goal), then you may be able to find the Prerequisites by asking yourself, "What must happen before the Requirements can be met?"

Make a list of all the possible answers that come to mind. Then leave the list alone for a time, come back later, and see if any new ideas come to you.

With Preconditions, you ask, "What stipulations or conditions might some character lay down that makes it harder for the goal to be achieved?"

Preconditions are like red tape, or the security checks at airports when you are in a hurry to make your flight. They are annoying rules that get in the way and make the task more difficult.

Again, try listing as many possibilities as you can before settling on something that feels right.

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