Since the theme of a novel is an idea about or pertaining to human existence,
it is in terms of its effects on or expression in human actions that that idea
has to be presented.
This leads to the crucial attribute of a novel—the plot . . . .
To present a story in terms of action means: to present it in terms of events.
A story in which nothing happens is not a story. A story whose events are
haphazard and accidental is either an inept conglomeration or, at best, a
chronicle, a memoir, a reportorial recording, not a novel.