Jurgeon Wolff, a British screenplay writer, lists the basics of a story at
http://www.yourwritingcoach.com - go to the tips section and then the fiction section
He lists 8 steps.
1. Once upon a time (the basic setup)
2. Every day.........(conditions at the start)
3. But one day......(inciting incident)
4. Because of that.....(conflict that moves the story along)
5. Because of that....
6. (repeat) Because of that....(basic conflicts and escalations of Act II to end of Act)
7. Until finally.........(resolution)
8. Ever since then .........(new status quo)
Understanding the spine of a good story creates a certain tension when something good happens.
Right now I feel like my life is at Step 3. And then one day she was 27th on a list. A twist from the ordinary. An unusual, unanticipated twist from all the days that went before. And the English major part of me is psyching herself up to handle the "because of that's" which are all the parts of the movie. Like Harrison Ford, I'm too old and out-of-shape and worn to realistically be a main character in a storyline but hand me the bones of a good script and I can't resist.