Here’s a concept I’ve thinking about a lot lately: Narrative Vehicle. As in, a protagonist’s main goal or objective, the quest that keeps the story moving forward. The character may not know his/her goal at the beginning. The narrative arc may follow this dawning realization. But the writer has to know it.
Three months into the Write Despite challenge, I’ve found it’s helpful to articulate narrative concepts this way. It clears out some of the mental clutter and helps me focus. It also helps me select details and scenes that drive the vehicle forward and to not waste time on detours and diversions—no matter how clever they are.
Here’s a primer for anyone else out there who likes reminders.