preconditions help

by Stacey Doss
(Jacksonville, IL)

Question: I'm struggling to come up with preconditions for my plot. The other 7 parts were easy...

Can someone provide other examples of preconditions that might help start my thought processes?

Answer: You can think of preconditions as the "red tape" of the story. They are the rules of the game laid down by certain characters that get in the way of the characters and make their efforts a little more difficult.

Some examples:

The Hunger Games: Only one person can emerge from the game a winner. Plus, there is an unspoken rule against criticizing the Capitol.

Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone: Only someone who wants the Philosopher's Stone, but does not want to use it can retrieve it from the Mirror of Erised.

Romeo & Juliet: Juliet is required to marry the man her father chooses for her (Paris), and not commit bigamy, despite the fact that she is secretly married to Romeo.

Twilight: Due to a treaty with the Quileutes, Edward cannot grant Bella's wish and turn her into a vampire. Nor can the Cullens bite any human.

The Incredibles: A law is passed forbidding superheroes from engaging in hero work, which makes life frustrating for Mr. Incredible and his family.

Star Wars: Han Solo will only agree to transport Obi wan Kenobi, Luke, and the droids to Aldarran if he is handsomely paid.

Oliver Twist: Oliver can only inherit his father's wealth if, by the time he comes of age, he has not been convicted of a crime.

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