Samuel Beckett has a play called ‘Happy days’ in which a woman is being increasingly buried by sand. And in her handbag, there is a gun. Chekhov famously said if you put a gun on the desk in the first act, it has to go off in the third. But by the third act, she’s so buried in sand, she can’t reach the gun. Though you keep expecting her to get a hold of it and shoot herself because things are so awful. But by the end, it’s out of reach. So if you didn’t know about the Checkov comment, this would make less sense to you. So I would just say expand your frame of reference because it will give you a lot more depth in your thinking about stories. – Margaret Atwood teaches creative writing