A writing friend sent me Wired for Story, which is another book about writing. I have a stack of these books; some are filled with helpful advice, others have at least one good thing to say. Wired for Story said something I’ve heard for years, but in a way that I finally understood, and that is every story must have the hero’s journey, an internal goal, and that the journey isn’t part of the story, it is the story. When the journey or goal is missing, the story has no focus, no direction, no heart; ultimately it’s lifeless.
Another point from the book is that every story has a moment when the story begins for the main character, when he/she decides to enter the story. Everything that happens before that moment is background/ scene setting.