Now that my mom is gaining strength and health, I have a little more time to think about the road we traveled since her surgery. As I have thought about it, I realized that it closely resembles the plot line of a story.
We began with a goal (story goal) — repairing the problems with her heart, then we hit an obstacle — her kidneys shut down. Then she had to begin dialysis, something she feared she’d end up on for the rest of her life and didn’t want to. She began to recuperate and was released to physical rehabilitation. Then, another obstacle — a bleeding issue sent her back to a hospital, where she began to improve and then–another obstacle — fluid build-up causing her to go into heart failure and ending up in the ICU. After a couple of days, improvement and back to a regular room. A couple more days and back to the rehab. Then, another obstacle — the bleeding returned and back to another hospital, a battle with a doctor (actually there had been a disagreement with a doctor before the fluid that caused the heart failure as well), and then, finally a good doctor who wanted to find the cause of the bleeding and fix it. Now, back to the rehab, and gaining strength and health and probably to be released in another week. (So, the story hasn’t really reached its conclusion yet).
But, all of that is just like a story plot line: you begin with a goal, and your character faces conflict and a disaster over and over again, scene by scene, until there finally comes a resolution and ending. This is what keeps readers reading, and of course, you need to create your characters well and bring them to life so that your reader can relate to them and care about them, because no matter how good your plotline is, if the reader can’t relate to or care about your character(s), they will either stop reading, or will end the book feeling unhappy and dissatisfied.
So, look at your life and the events that surround you. Can you find a plot line there? It may be the beginning of a good story.