It's strange how the little things always throw me off. For instance, today, I went to have my car inpsected and $1800 and 10 hours later, I got my car back. The shop was nice about everything, gave me a loaner, hurried things up as much as possible, etc. but the day, for me was not great at all. Besides the obvious cost giving me palpatations and a shot of depression, driving around in a car that wasn't mine was really unsettling. I was cranky, short, and all the rest. Besides going from driving perched in my minivan (yes, I know they're terrible looking, I swore I'd never have one, and now I love it like my spouse) to lodged in an Altima, it was one of those keyless starting jobs. You simply make sure the key fob is with you in the car and press a button to start and stop the engine.
No big deal. Well, for me apparently, it was. I kept getting out without turning the thing off, constantly felt my pockets, ferreted through my purse, making sure that damn fob didn't get locked in the running car...Yikes, am I fuddy, duddy, oldie or what? It was eye opening and I think helpful to my writing.
While big events clearly drive plots and character development and having a big concept is the desire du jour of agents and publishers, I think it's the little things that happen to characters that probably puts the spark in the action. Even for a person (ahem) character who doesn't fancy herself compulsive or rigid, leave it to the small stuff to show her the truth. Something to think about, anyway!
How do you and/or your characters handle the small stumbling blocks of life?