Not much writing done this week because I attended a family wedding and the countryside was flooded, making travel difficult. That set me thinking about the plot for a new novel . . .
People often ask writers where they get their ideas from and the answer very often is 'from daily life.' Almost any small incident can spark off a novelist's imagination. It's making something of nothing, linking ideas, creating the kind of cause and effect from which plots are contrived. I guess it comes with practice.
If you are an aspiring writer, set yourself some small tests. Take a tiny incident from your day - someone spilling coffee in the office, for instance - and turn it into the basis for a story. What got damaged when the fictional coffee got spilt? Did a document get ruined? How did the culprit respond? Did they somehow try to hide their clumsy mistake?
Then there are those 'what ifs' - what if, unknown to the coffee spiller, someone saw them spill the coffee and saw them try to cover it up. What if the document was irreplaceable? What if millions of pounds were at stake . . . and so it goes on. The writer's imagination might wander down many paths before a viable plot emerges and the process of writing can take place.