My trouble is that no matter how many seed ideas I have and characters I explore (I have a stack of exercise books filled with notes and sketches, etc) I trip over at the plot. I can't 'just write' because I end up lost. I'm not a 'Nike' kind of person. I've read, read and re-read books on plotting, and I've tried so many ways to get to the stage where a plot might leak out of my stubborn brain. At best, I get through all the setup and line the characters up ready to go, but I can never 'see' the ending, not even as a mirage on the horizon. This is my problem, and part of it may have to do with the kind of stories I'm drawn to writing. A great many SF stories have a MacGuffin (something lost, stolen, rare or in demand) and these tend to relate to one thematic core of the story. In many stories, the Macguffin could save or damn the world, or at least the protagonist's world. In other cases the MacGuffin is a hidden truth with moral questions attached. I can plot the core of the story, because Macguffin stories are all essentially the same pattern, but it is the nature of the element that I falter on. I wrack my brain to define what this 'thing' is. Well, luckily I have a few ideas, sadly quite derivative, but hey, that's never stopped a successful story before. What I'm trying to figure out is how to end this Macguffin story. When the viewpoint character and ultimately the possessor of this 'thing' is being pursued and challenged by powers beyond his control - ones that would kill him just as soon as look at him - his options really start to dwindle. So far, I've considered that he has the following options: 1) Give up, hand over the MacGuffin and die. 2) Don't hand it over but run for the rest of his life. 3) Throw the thing away but still have to run. 4) Pretend to die while not handing over the MacGuffin. 5) Hand it over and then pretend to die. 6) Hand it over and somehow escape but probably still have to run. 7) Give it to the authorities/'goodies' but still have to run. 8) Make a 'status quo' deal that keeps him alive but in a fragile balance. 9) Get a time machine. I don't really like any of those. Many of them are pretty ho-hum and read-that-one-before. I think that by putting a 'regular Joe Blo' in the sights of 'powers beyond his control or comprehension', I've given him very little hope. What's he going to do, short of kill everybody after him and everybody whom might be hired to continue chasing him? Anyone else had similar roadblocks? What was it and what did you do to get around it?