In nearly all good fiction, the basic - all but inescapable - plot form is this: A central character wants something, goes after it despite opposition, perhaps including his own doubts, and so arrives at a win, lose, or draw.
I love this quote by John Gardner, the way he sees story it's just that simple. But when I think about my favorite books, it is that simple. Now to just figure out how to add all the elements I need in my manuscript. I already have the ending figured out and the beginning...it's the middle that needs a lot of work. And a bad middle will lose a lot of readers, that's assuming it will even ge tpublished. Today, if you're working on a manuscript read the middle of the book objectively and if needed do some rewriting, if you're doing daily writing write about the time you were "stuck in the middle of something". Now get back to work!
The Writing Nag