Kurt Vonnegut has a simple rule for writing: everything that you write must either,
- Advance the plot, or
- reveal character
- Wife died, (sad)
- Children are inaccessible (sad)
- Used to be really good at dreamweaving, but issues with wife have made that impossible.
- Is a student
- Has a hopelessly pretentious name (This reveals more about the screenwriter than the character)
- Becomes relatively proficient at dreamweaving
If you want to make a good story, create a character that we care about. Everything else comes second.
PS. Inception could have been shortcut entirely if Michael Caine had just brought Dom's children out of America.