It’s not just first-time novelists that get stuck. Every writer, except Stephen King, experiences writer’s block.
Writer’s block is often an absence of information. The information can be related to character or theme, though the writer usually believes that the stuckness is related to plot. It isn’t.
Plot arises from character, and characters are in service to our theme or central dilemma.
By exploring the dilemma that your characters are struggling with (and they are all struggling with an aspect of the same dilemma — because the purpose of story is to resolve a theme), conflicts will naturally arise and present you with situations that you might not have otherwise considered.
The challenge for the authors in overcoming writer’s block is in understanding that our idea of our story is not the whole story. By exploring the dilemma, we’ll begin to explore new ways of seeing the “apparent problem” and we’ll begin to see our story in a more dynamic way.