I thought I'd take a moment to share a breakthrough I had regarding the plot of the fantasy novel I'm writing in the hopes it might help others who are struggling with coming up with a solid plot. I started out knowing I wanted an elf/human love interest to be a key element of the story (ie if they hadn't fallen in love they were doomed to fail) but I didn't want it to be just a love story. My original idea was to have them meet after joining forces to fight some mystical evil. All well and good, but their relationship would have little bearing on the outcome of that conflict so I came up with the idea of adding a second mundane conflict that would result in a human/elf war in which case, their love for each other would play a key role in restoring peace. Sounded great! I had the plot and the novel was off and running. But, six chapters into the book and not one mention of the mundane conflict having surfaced yet, I realized this complex plot idea was going to turn my novel into an epic saga that I'd never be able to sell (since first time authors rarely get published if their work is much more than 100k words in length). So I went back to the drawing board. I reviewed what I had written, paying special attention to some plot elements that had shown up unexpectedly and now I have a simple but believable plot where elven lands need to be protected because they are home to some powerful things the bad guys want. The elves can't do it alone so the human/elf protagonists will have to convince the humans to assist the elves or risk the destruction of their entire world. Anywho, the bottom line is, simple plots are not bad things and do not have to be boring in their simplicity. So, if you're struggling with your plot line, trying looking at a less complex approach -- it just might work better than you think.