Most writers think about their stories and characters at all hours of the day. We'll be in the shower and a scene idea will pop into our head (and we'll scramble to write it down on the wall with a bar of soap). We'll be making dinner and a snappy line of dialogue will appear out of nowhere. This is especially true if you're brainstorming for ideas of what to write.
After I wrote my first novel Thicker than Blood, I really struggled with what to write next. Should I write a sequel or something new? I bought a little notebook at Barnes and Noble, called it my Novel Notebook, and started jotting down ideas. Early on in the book I made myself answer the question, "What I really want to write about is ____". I got the idea from James Scott Bell in his book Plot & Structure, and I figured if it worked for him, then I could give it a try.
Weeks passed. I kept writing in that idea book. I asked myself the question, "What I really want to write about is ____" again. I had an answer, but I still didn't know if it should be a book. I had so many different snippets of ideas, but I kept shooting them down. I was floundering and miserable.
But that's not really the point of this post. :) Fast forward several months, even a year. I eventually decided on an idea and started writing my second novel. Then one day I finished it and happened to go back to that original idea notebook just for fun. I discovered something that shocked me. Every one of those responses to the "What I really want to write about" question I had incorporated into the novel . . . unconsciously.
Or maybe not.
There often comes a point in our writing when we have enough information (even if it doesn't feel like it), and the breakthrough will come when we sit down and write. You know more than you think you know about your story. Why not try the unfettered approach today? Just write. Trust your instincts. I bet what you really want to write about will come through.