Not to say anything bad about those writers. Secretely I wish I could be one of them. But whenever I try to plot that way I end up about three chapters in before losing steam. So I started to wonder if there's a happy mid-point where I can live.
I need a bit more structure to my plot but without all the hoops.
So here's my plan:
First I need to make a list of all the things I want to happen. This is going to be really rough. Things like Character A meets Character B at track meet. These will be the clear action points of the story. All of these go on a sticky note in a single color.
Once that is done, I'll determine what new information will be revealed during this action. Sticking with our example, Character B is really a talking pig in disguise.* All these new pieces of information go on a new color of sticky note.
Next, I want to plot out my character's emotional states because my particular story is very driven by the extreme emotions of being a teen. So in this case I would write Character A is dissapointed and disgusted. And, you guessed it, these go on a new sticky note.
I'll have other colors to represent the goal of the scene, the tension/conflict, any foreshadowing, etc. You get the idea.
Now that I have all my pretty notes I will commandeer a blank wall somewhere in my house and get to sticking.
The nice thing about sticky notes is that you can move the order around however you want. For example, let's say I don't want the reader to know Character B is a pig until later in the story. Easy! I just move the sticky note to the new action. Plus, now I know I need to cut the track scene or I need to add something to it.
So the real question is: will this work? Unfortunately the answer is: I don't know...maybe. I'm going to give it a try and I'll let you know. I'll try to take some pictures as I go so you can see my madness in all its glory.
If you're looking for a new plotting technique, why not give this a try and then let me know how it works for you. Do you have another technique for the outline weary? I'd love to hear about it. Now I'm off to the office supply store.
* I want to be clear that this is not my story. Although teenage boys are often confused for talking pigs, so maybe it is my story.