All good books are based around a plot skeleton. Here is the most basic and universal plot skeleton there is.
First, the character must have a want or goal.
The character tries to attain her want or goal, but finds herself getting into trouble trying to attain it. There are obstacles in her way.
Each time she tries to get back on track, something else goes wrong.
When things are at the absolute worst and the character is in a dark place, the character finds her way out of the darkness through recognition and, ultimately, resolution.
A famous example of this basic plot skeleton is the Harry potter books. J.K. Rawlings rolls out the worst possible situations for Harry and just when you think he is doomed, he works his way out of the darkness.