It seems that every satisfying narrative, fiction or nonfiction, contains each and all of these elements:
THE OBJECT OF DESIRE: The object that provokes an actor to action.
THE OBSTACLE AND/OR THREAT: That which stands between the actor and the success of the action.
THE DEFINING MOMENT: The moment in which the actor does something absolutely irrevocable, no turning back.
THE BREAKTHROUGH: The immediate consequences of THE DEFINING MOMENT.
THE AFTERMATH: The meaning of the action fully revealed and/or understood.
Note that the actor in a narrative is not always the same creature as the “character” in fiction — although often it is.