Audition your characters
"Plot grows out of character...if you sit and write about people you are getting to know better day by day, something is bound to happen. Characters should not serve as pawns for some plot you've dreamed up."
This is currently my favourite quote, on a post-it stuck above my desk. I thought it was one worth sharing.
Getting a little stuck with my current wip, I recently wrote five chapters, all from the PoV of a different potential character with the idea that I would audition them for a role in my book. I've now trimmed my protagonist cast list down to two and shifted the theme of the story, based on the direction given by these two characters. Thanks, Anne Lamott!