What does your character want? Author Holly Lisle says that even if you don’t have the foggiest idea what your story is going to be about and you don’t know where it will take place. But if you can say “My character wants XXX more than anything else in the world, you’re on the way.
Your character wants something and he or she wants to avoid something.
Holly says, “A rule of good storytelling is that the protagonist will confront the thing he fears the most and overcome it in order to win the thing he desires the most.”