I've been doing some thinking about how writers of historical fiction come up with ideas for plots. Often, the solution is as simple as opening the front page of the newspaper and scanning through the local stories. There's a great deal of stuff going on in the heartland of America.
It's a diminishing resource, too, as newspapers seem to be going the way of button hooks and the dodo. However, I've found some gems in the Classifieds. For example, here's one from the New Haven Register some months back: "For Sale. Wedding dress. Size 10. Never worn. Best offer."
What a writer could do with that.
Pick your time period. I'm partial to the WWII era, but it could work in a multitude of times and cultures. People that setting and you've got an angry father, perhaps a murdered finance or a jilted bride. A wartime romance that didn't come to fruition? The possibilities are endless.
Toss in a murder, some crime of various sorts, troubled family relationships, and you can have a historical worth reading.
How do you find your ideas?