AOV, you may find this way of thinking about story — the plot as an expression of a character’s Fate, their Narrative Imperative — to be a helpful way to approach the story-crafting process.
Re your point about the past: I teach a Screenwriting Master Class course about Time in a screenplay. In it, I posit this idea: That a movie unfolds very much in the moment (hence, our use of the present tense when writing), but there is always the push of the past on the present (Present-Past) in what we call backstory, and the pull of the future on the present (Present-Future) in what we call fate. If we understand the metamorphosis arc of the Protagonist, we can use that as a lens through which to look at every scene, every key relationship, and every event, and track the influence of Past and Future on them.
Yet another interesting way to approach the story-crafting process.