The epic story of the fall and recovery of an average person
Once upon a time, a person’s life was relatively good, and the happiness quotient of that life was around 70 points out of one hundred. You as a reader should feel happy and relate to the person’s good fortune.
Then a random event changes the circumstances of that person’s life, and the happiness quotient plummeted to single digits. Now, you, the reader, should be shocked. How can this horrible event happen to such a good person?
The person has an awful life. The awfulness of person’s life is amplified by old friends turning their backs and the support structure of that person almost entirely collapsing. The person also acts in a foolish manner that most readers will attribute to the character of the individual due to fundamental attribution error.
Now the writer will stretch this out a bit. To rub it in even to the most emphatically challenged readers. There’s one particular thing about the person that seems meaningless at the moment. A friend, skill, or an item. Most readers won’t even notice it.
However, the person has an epiphany and sees a way out of the situation. The way out is hard, and there will be many obstacles to overcome. But the reader should sense hope and upward movement of person’s happiness quotient.
There is a lot of ground to cover and to make it more salient to the reader the person has to overcome a certain number of steps at the end of which there’s a promise of having a happiness quotient of 100.
The person starts with the easy stuff, and the progress seems unstoppable. The marginal utility of most events trends near the maximum. The good fortune and great results continue from one step to the other and person’s life starts to recover. Some old friends start to come back, and the momentum builds.
Now the person is reaching the end of the challenge the final test to prove that all the hard work will pay off in the end and that the world is ultimately a just and fair place.
Until the unthinkable happens. The happiness quotient seems to go sub-zero, which, needless to say, is impossible. The reversal is a complete shock to the reader. Of course, older and wiser readers were expecting this to happen, but they are still shocked and in awe of the writer’s skill.
It seems that the person is defeated for good.
And then… the person stares into the abyss… and unexpectedly remembers the particular thing briefly mentioned in paragraph four. As the circumstances have changed, this is the exact thing needed to turn everything around.
Now the person will engage in one final heroic burst of courage and willpower. And now finally the road to happy ending seems to be cleared. The happiness quotient of the person and the reader rises above 90.
But there’s one final hiccup where the person may still lose it all again. Through almost inhuman effort the person recovers and lives with the happiness quotient between 80 and 100 for the rest of his life.