Choice plays a critical role in any story. Much of the meaning found in stories is exemplified in the choices characters make, as well as the consequences that follow. And yet, I feel that most characters make very few real choices over the course of their story. And I think that’s necessary. Too many choices can overwhelm an audience, just as too few often make for a boring story.
A good story keeps the audience focused on what’s happening, while allowing them to subconsciously recognize the underlying the patterns. As a writer it’s important to understand how and why a story works. I will often start with an idea, character, or conflict, and wait until the revision process to try and understand what pattern I’m trying to create, but that is only a preference.