This will be a quick post, but I want to highlight two seemingly unrelated things with a common theme. I'll start with the theme: Not everything that happens happens to the main character.
Important plot points may actually occur to a side character, but will still cause a certain reaction or present a plot hurdle for the main character. For example, a friend can end up in a car accident that has the main character's heart clawing its way up his/her throat, which can turn into the friend being irrationally angry towards the main character or perhaps moody and withdrawn. The crash didn't happen to the main character, but the main character can still feel the fallout.
The second thing is, sometimes characters hear things that happen in another room. Thin walls, echoey hallways, something. It's a nice, suspenseful way to have things not happen to the main character.
That seemed way more important when I thought of it, so take it on faith in me as Tuesday that echoey halls is good advice.