I was recently asked to write a sample chapter of a book that is still without a plot. I was asked to write a chapter that took place in the middle of the book. It was an interesting writing exercise that I'd never done before. It turned out to be a rewarding one.
I found it interesting how much of the story was able to fill itself in as I started to write. Instead of always thinking of what happens next, the way in which my usual concepts would be conceived, I was thinking about before and after. Certain little details that I wrote for the scene supplied an endless supply of references to include to the beginning of the story.
As I begin work on a new novel, one that needs the same kind of attention to detail, I think I'm going to give the method a try. Instead of writing a concept, I'm going to write certain scenes as they come to me. I'm curious to see if the blanks get filled in faster.