After writing my last Story Seedlings post, it occurred to me that it could illustrate one of the key things any author has to learn - where to focus or channel his or her story-telling efforts. When you first start writing, it can be like you've just walked into a department store. Everything looks appealing! It's all so shiny and new! And some areas are clearly shinier than others, but maybe, less obvious, are the areas where the real finds are. How's a fledgling author to know where to go?
If you've read any of the Story Seedlings blogs, you'll notice that I approach a story focusing not so much on the "what" (plot) as the "who" and "why." In the latest example, for instance, I don't first wonder about what was in the trunk that John Lee was attempting to steal, but the coachman who was a witness and how he described events. Only later do I wonder what might be in the trunk (a plot point), but even so, I'm also thinking about why John Lee would want to steal it.
This tells you I'm very much a character-oriented story teller.
If your first thoughts about a similar event are to wonder what's in the trunk and how it got in the boot of the coach in the first place, I'd suspect you're a more plot-oriented writer.
As for what might be in the trunk:
If your first notion is that it might be a body or body parts, sounds like you might be a mystery/suspense/thriller writer at heart. If it's money, I'd say suspense and mystery.
If you think it might be something like racy lingerie or erotic literature, or something that could be used to further a sexual relationship, erotica or very sexy romance might be your forte.
If it's some kind of cursed object, or a talisman that invokes a fantasy world, paranormal and/or fantasy would be what you should probably be writing.
Because I'm all about the people and I like to write romance, whatever is in the trunk would be something that would either bring a couple together, if the attempted theft is at the start of the story, or threaten to destroy the relationship, if it happens at the end. If it's in the middle, it can do both -- bring them together but also be something that could lead to trouble later on. But because I write romance, whatever is in the trunk itself isn't as important to me as how it's going to affect that primary relationship.