There are no new stories, only new ways of telling the same stories.
All human stories are about the same things: love, betrayal, greed, acceptance, etc.
These are emotional touch-points that imbue story immortality.
An ‘Epic’ story has this for multiple POV with an over-arching ‘Grande Plot’.
Protagonists need a goal, a mountain to cross.
(KL) We’re biologically designed to be egocentric. Thus survival is not a problem, it’s a given. It’s also why this conversation makes my left eye twitch:
KL: So what is your protagonist’s goal?
Writer: To survive.
KL: *face palm*
Here’s the deal. We ALL have a goal to survive. If, at the end of the day, I am not dead, I consider that a pretty good day. My genetic desire to survive is why I don’t take electrics in the bath, take up bear-baiting, or see how far I can drive backwards on a highway at 75mph. Survival isn’t interesting. Whatever threatens survival? That’s what’s interesting.
What did your character want before this event?
How is that threatened?
How will defeating the mountain get him closer to his goals?
How will being defeated by the mountain affect him?
Luke Skywalker did not have a goal of ‘survive this’, his goal was racing cars when not working on a farm. He had a far away dream of leaving his mudball and fighting for the ‘good guys’ – absolute fantasy – until his dad came looking for his sister’s droids…
Sometimes talk-therapy can cause you and me to over think everything. Sometimes you just have to stop thinking about some things and move on.
Stop thinking too much.
It’s all right not to know all the answers. Sometimes there is no answer, not going to be any answer, and there never has been an answer. That’s the answer! Just accept it, move on. Next!