These are the fundamental building blocks of every query and every story.
1. You need a character with goals.
2. There must be something that is preventing them from reaching that goal--conflict. This could be internal, external, or both.
3. The character needs to make a choice that matters. One that will move them closer to their goal or to failure. This process is often repeated until you reach that goal (or as in some books--die).
It's as simple as that.
Check out this great video clip. I wish I'd learned this earlier in my writing journey.
What other writerly C words can you think of? How do you dig deep for character development, conflict, and realistic choice making?