Kurt Vonnegut gave one of the single best pieces of advice I have ever seen for writers. He said simply this: Make your characters want something right away in a story, even if it’s just a glass of water.I find myself thinking about this a lot when I read. It really is true of good stories. I would like to practice putting this theory to the test in my (rare) writing more often, see how it turns out.
Actually, to tell you the truth, thinking about that can be kind of distracting. I become sort of obsessed with it when I'm reading. And writing.
Now I can't stop thinking about it.