jesse_the_k. lilacsigil, kittenmommy, elettaria, and prydera all disagreed with my inclusion of the criteria that the disability be "Actual" and "have consequences," since that would likely lead to "disability policing." And I see that point -- I also realized that, since "A Quest for Cure" is irrelevant in this test, "Cause" is also irrelevant. So that part is simply out.*
I realized that what makes the Bechdel Test so strong is that it is completely free of jargon -- using words that even those who never studied literature or writing get intuitively:
Stories have people who talk to each other about... stuff. The Bechdel Test point out: Unless those people are women.
I (and many folks in my circle) are comfortable with terms like "Conflict resolution," "story arc," and "motivation," but these terms are still jargon to many (and they have lots of syllables). elletaria also pointed out that it would be nice just to have random people with disabilities Show up in the background scenes whether or not they're actually part of the story. It's so rare that they're even in the background.
So-- this is the hot-water-drenched version:
1) There's a disabled person visible
2) Who wants something, and tries to get it,
3) Other than: Death, Cure, or Revenge.
(This might be the main character having story-type adventure, or it could just be someone in a wheelchair, in the crowd, buying a paper at the newsstand, while the lead couple make googly eyes at each other in the foreground)
*(Incidentally, I included "consequences" mostly as a note to myself. I originally wrote my NaNoWriMo novel as a script for ScriptFrenzy!, five and a half years ago, and back then, I only had my prince character suffer a missing eye and facial burns to break from the trope that the heroic prince is now and must always be "A Handsome Prince."
But, in revisiting the story this time around, I realized: "Oh, hey! having only one eye is going to change how he moves through his palace, isn't it -- especially all those steep, uneven, lit-by-torchlight, tower staircases? That's probably something I should address, and not have him capering up and down like he used to, when he was twelve..." [He's also relatively newly disabled -- within the last year -- and he hasn't, yet, gotten completely comfortable with his changed body])