That moment when you realise you are utterly alone. You reach to hold a hand that isn’t there, and cast about then and see only strangers.

The nice thing about plots is that you can steal them with impunity – after all, Shakespeare did.

It’s good to get a secret off your chest. But remember – you also hand someone power over you.

There’s almost always a turning point – a choice or an accident – that changes us.

I like the idea of a story in which the main action is happening elsewhere. This is a good exercise to explore tricks for recounting events that impact other people. There’s overhearing and eavesdropping. There are intercepted letters, hacked voicemails, incriminating shop receipts. What else? And how can you make a story that is unfolding in another room feel immediate? How can you make the main character part of it without having him or her interact directly with it?