Novel writing is not a task to be scoffed at or taken lightly. It is a massive undertaking! Having a robust concept can help you keep a strong focus while taking plot deviations, encountering numerous characters and creating multiple twists and turns.
“I hold the world but as the world…
A stage where every man must play a part,”
Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
“…cherry-pick the interesting incidents and emotions from your real life and put a fictional spin on them or give them to a fictional character with an agenda entirely separate from your own.” Louise Doughty tells us. You can do this with any aspect of our life and the more fictionalised your writing becomes, the less autobiographical. Write from what you know until you have enough writerly confidence to write what you don’t know, to rely on imagination alone.
The idea of ‘plot’ can refer to various narrative techniques and literary devices: setting, time, point of view, focalisation, characterisation, sequencing, genre, etc. I will come to all of these in the course of ‘the year of writing my novel’, what I am interested in today is creating a bare bones list of ideas that will form the basic plot of my novel.