Reading a book on creative writing, it said that every story should have an emotional change along the same continuum that is caused by an event. So in many romance books it might be: 1) MC is single and unhappy 2)MC meets romantic partner 3)MC is happy in new relationship The idea is that more complex events and emotions might happen in the middle but the basic structure would remain. e.g. the Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone 1) MC is lonely and isolated from peers and caregivers 2)MC goes to a new setting and meets new people 3) MC is part of new community with friends and caring adults. In the section of the book I've called 2 Harry has adventures, feels angry, scared, confused etc but what shapes the story is the movement from 1-3 I'm interested mostly because I think my short story writing sometimes lacks a strong drive and I wonder if it is because I need to make more effort to include an emotion-changing event! I rewrote a story with this in mind but it felt to me a bit childish: I felt x, then y happened and I learned an important lesson so now I feel z I am very willing to accept that might be my poor execution! I was just wondering what everyone else feels. Is this a helpful way to look at stories? Is it always true?