After having spent hundreds of hours attempting to plan out a workable secondary world story, I decided to put it all on the shelf and come back to this site for inspiration... and I found myself with some ideas I'm interested in.
Currently I have six main characters: for now I'll call them Squire, Knight, Priest, Lord, Jester, and Craftsman. The Squire is the central protagonist; s/he must work with the Knight in the latter's endeavours. The Priest and the Lord are in conflict (due to a number of issues); the Craftsman and the Jester are marginally more sympathetic.
I've managed to get quite a good sense of these six people; I find them fascinating & worthy of explanation; the chemistry between them is great...
The trouble is, there are so many questions remaining unanswered I'm having trouble fitting my head around it all.
I haven't determined the setting yet; I'd like it to factor into the plot if I can - partly because it prevents everything else being window-dressing & forces me to make creative decisions that are consistent with the world I'm making. (I prefer micro-to-macro as far as worldbuilding goes though, so it's not an immediate priority.) The same goes for my magic system: it's all loose ideas & nothing definite or inspirational, since i don't want to compromise a good story by trying to work with a hastily-assembled ''system'' of magic.
What's worrying me is that I can't seem to come up with anything much in the way of a plot. I'm throwing around words like ''betrayal'' and ''politics'' and ''espionage'' and ''economic difficulties'' and ''blackmail'' but it's not really helping.
The most obvious course of action seems to me to be to start by working with the Knight's agenda, since the Squire is - to a certain degree - bound to him & will go where he goes. The trouble is, I'm stuck when it comes to what that agenda might be.
Which in turn makes me say ''well surely that's dependent on the setting - what's his role in this society?'' and at that point it all becomes circular.
If anyone can suggest any sources of inspiration, or alternative approaches, or really anything helpful at all, I'd love to hear it.