Thinking up a plot is the most difficult part of writing a novel.
Writing a novel is telling a story, but to tell a story you already have to know the details. And to tell a fictional story most of those details will have to come from your own imagination and experiences
So perhaps you have a general idea for the story, or you have already thought up a good beginning for it and hope that when you begin writing one page will lead to another. But in my case it didn’t work out that way. After a tentative start covering about ten pages I came to a halt because I didn’t know what to write next.
This is what happens when you write without having the outlines of a plot in your head. So what did I do? Well, nothing. I just left the unfinished story as it was.
Over the next one or two years various new ideas came to me, along with recollections of experiences I had had, people I had met and stories I had read. Then I thought I should start again by basing the main character in my story on a well-known person who seemingly had clairvoyant powers. However, on considering the matter for some time I couldn’t come up with a plot which could be developed into a full-length novel.
Mulling the matter over it suddenly came to me that if I combined my first idea for the book which I had started to write two years earlier, with my second idea regarding the clairvoyant, then perhaps I could make it into the basis for a good story. And as I continued to think about it I found that other ideas which had been floating around in my mind for some time could be fitted in to flesh out the tale and make it more interesting and exciting.
So in the end I was able to bring all threads together to form one long and coherent tale. I then re-started writing at the point I had left off, deleted anything which didn’t fit in with the new plot, and continued writing steadily until the story was finished. And as I wrote I found that new episodes which I had not thought of before would occur to me almost automatically, one leading to another, and that character development would come spontaneously as the work progressed, so that I never suffered any writers’ block.
Finally after nine months my story of about 75,000 words was completed. But the next step was to get someone to read it, and that was to prove a difficult task.