Never let a painful event happen on an average day. - my coach

This is just a great principle to keep in mind when story building. Whenever something painful happens to your character, make sure there’s something else going on in his life that it affects. This creates a lot of poor decisions and a lot of forks in the road.

How I’ve been using this: When I uncover a painful event, I make sure it doesn’t go to waste, by asking simple questions. What else is going on in his life right now? What is he thinking about? Who has he been talking to a lot? Who hasn’t he been talking to that’s on his mind? And I answer these questions until I discover some fork in the road that he’s facing, where his life’s direction is at a crossroads. Then I send him towards his doom and start the process over again.