The past few days I have really been working on a budding story idea. I had the germ of an idea but I've been doing a few different things to help me expand it into a novel-length idea.
One thing I've been doing is skimming through my writing books and making sure my basic idea has all the necessary elements of a good story. I've been using Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell and Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. These have really helped me fill out my idea.
I've also tried going through the plotlines of other books or movies and seeing if there is anything in that story that strikes me or inspires me to add something to mine. A while ago I wrote about a game called Liebrary, and I've been using the plot summaries on those cards especially to get some ideas.
Checking the news can also help you discover the elements of your story that are missing. You may find interesting characters and plot points in your local newspaper.
What do you do to help expand your beginning idea?