I'm always thinking about plotting and how to do it. One of the things I think about is how to explain plot creation to others. My being able to do this is dependent upon my figuring out how to do it, myself, of course.
When I think about explaining plot creation, I always end up ruminating about the beginning point--the idea that leads writers to think they've found a story. (Hey! I just used an em dash!) I feel as if I can't help other writers with that. If you don't have an idea you're interested in writing about, you don't need to worry about a plot.
Here's A Guaranteed Way To Generate A Backlog Of Writing Ideas at Procrastinating Writers intersected with my idea/plot thoughts. I agree that magazines (and all kinds of publications) are hotbeds of ideas. But if a writer needs to sit down and hunt for ideas, maybe she doesn't need to worry too much about writing at all.
That sounds sort of judgemental. Perhaps I'm being too organic with that attitude, too much into the concept of writing process being integrated into every aspect of writers' lives, making ideas something they live with every day. I attended a Madeline L'Engle lecture in which she said that Bach was asked where he got the ideas for his music and replied that it was all he could do not to fall over them when he got up in the morning.
Isn't that how ideas come for everybody?
Procrastinating Writers has a post today on freewriting, which I must try to read soon, since I'll be talking about that a bit at an elementary school in a few weeks.