Individual turning points ~ moments in time that change us, set us off in new directions. Looking at those points in our lives for the start of story, as a place to begin writing.
Now, step backward from these turning points and look at the big picture. What was going on in the world at that particular moment in time? Is there a historical connection that has some bearing on your reaction to that point of change?
Think about how (if at all) your life was influenced or impacted by those apparently surface events. You may discover that moments in your life that felt divorced from the march of history were actually quite connected with the larger picture on some level.
~ Tim Tomlinson, The Portable MFA in Creative Writing