This may or may not be a question you can use -- maybe I just need to talk to somebody who might understand. But I think I'm stuck.
I want to write a book, an LDS book, but I can't seem to come up with a plot that I like. In fact, except for the boringly standard "girl meets boy," I can't seem to come up with any plot at all. It's like my brain has shut down. I only have some ideas for a background and maybe a character or two, but whenever I try to think of a plot, nothing comes out, and I mean, nothing. I've tried to brainstorm a few times, but I usually only come up with a load of questions that I can't answer, or it's all background and no action, and above all, no resolution. I've tried letting everything percolate in the back of my brain, hoping for a spark that will set it all off, but so far, nothing.
Am I trying too hard, putting too much pressure on myself, or maybe not trying hard enough?
Am I limiting myself unnecessarily by saying, "I really don't want to write a romance?" I mean, I wouldn't mind if a touch of romance was a by-product of the main plot, but that main plot just isn't making itself known.
[A friend] once told me I should take the characters and situation from [my story] and make a book out of it. I've been trying, but I just can't seem to get ideas to expand the story into a full-length novel.
Do you have any suggestions as to what I could do to help myself come up with an idea that I really want to work with?
Thanks for listening to me whine, anyway. I know you must be horrendously busy, so I'll understand if you can't reply right away.
I am horrendously busy, but that's not why it's taken me so long to answer this question. It got lost. I found it just now as I was tidying up my email account. Soooo sorry.
Yes, you're trying to hard. Give yourself a break for a bit. Do writing exercises and prompts until an idea strikes, then go for it!
If you don't want to write a romance, don't write a romance. Just because they sell well in the LDS market doesn't mean they're the only thing that's selling. Fantasy is selling well. So are mysteries and historicals.
Sometimes a short story is just a short story. Maybe there's nothing more to it. Or maybe it needs to percolate a bit longer.
Find a story line that excites you, that you're enthused about. That's what you should be writing—not what you think the market expects. If you aren't excited about your story, no one else will be excited about it either. You have to follow your bliss.