Missing: plot for a story

A few weeks ago I decided it was time to be brave and start writing fiction again.

At the beginning the process felt very liberating. There were many ideas and characters that started to develop in my head. Notes started to pile up in my journal. But once I looked more closely into what I was writing, I couldn’t find any plots.

When I used to write and publish regularly, I remember having several ideas in my head and working on them simultaneously to an extent, but there was always a clear sense of where I was going with the action. Now, it’s as if I focus too much on how I want to present the story (for example, in second person, or in a series of newspaper ads) or the main themes and goals of the story. I have many notes on character development and some sense of purpose but I’m struggling to find the plot.

I’m looking into different ways to make my characters DO something, but it’s funny that the fear of judgement and comparisonitis have shown up at this stage. Like they’re saying “Sure, go and write but anything that you come up with will be rubbish anyway”.

It’s clear the only thing to do is move forward and push through these voices. I want to believe the plot will eventually marinate and present itself, but what if it doesn’t? What do I do next? …