Thanks for your thoughts, Mike. Really great points.
You're right, that lawyer example was plucked out of the story, and partially made up. I can add the example from my own story (in detailed outline stage currently) since I think the storyform is pretty solid...
Darwin is an OS character, and the OS is
Activity/Obtaining/Attitude/Oppose with Symptom of
Hinder and Response of
Help. I think Darwin also represents
Support as an OS character, and at one point I pencilled him in for
Acceptance but I don't remember why.
Anyway, Darwin is a young man whose grandfather was a famous warrior and he wants to follow in his grandfather's footsteps but his parents are against that. They want him to help with the family business (bakery) and don't want him to train as a warrior. Meanwhile, he is pretty screwed in terms of being a warrior because he has moderate asthma, and there are no asthma inhalers in this late-medieval-ish fantasy world. He does spend a lot of time with a family friend, "uncle" Lewan who was a comrade of his grandfather's, but Herr Lewan only trains him in woodcraft etc. because he's respecting Darwin's parents wishes. Darwin soaks up all the hunting and endurance training he can though.
Some bad stuff happens (demons! oh noes!) and Darwin almost gets killed, so Herr Lewan decides to go against the parents and train Darwin to be a warrior. (Note Action driver.) The training goes well technique-wise, but Darwin's asthma always holds him back. He tries to solve it by asking for more training, doing more mountain running (to help build up his lungs), etc. Then his brother (the "good son" who's happy to be a baker) finds out and rats on him, and his parents forbid him from even seeing Herr Lewan again. At this point Darwin is dismayed and basically gives up, telling Herr Lewan they have to stop the training -- it's helpless anyway, he was never going to be a real warrior.
(Don't worry, later the MC will show up, a pretty girl who needs his help even though she doesn't want it. This gives him the "nudge forward" you mentioned.)
Okay, so the giving up there:
- could be his Response of Help moving from regular Help (seeking aid in the form of training, helping to build up his lungs, etc.) to lack-of-Help (deciding it's helpless, not training).
Note the way his asthma hinders him is a Symptom. His brother telling his parents and their forbidding him is another Symptom, I think.
- could be his deciding that the Prerequisite isn't worth it. The Prerequisite is Developing a Plan, i.e. having to scheme and figure out a way to disobey his parents and keep training behind their backs.
- it could be something to do with him representing Acceptance or Support (accepting and/or supporting his parents' decision)
- acting like a real person
I go with all of the above! But what do you think?
Also because of some stuff I won't go into here, it actually makes sense that he has to figure out a way to continue training as a Prerequisite for the Requirements of Understanding (i.e. understanding what causes his asthma).