Today's "best of the web" will take you to the blog of one writer whose plotting I admire greatly.
I've heard writers approach different ways to plot a book. I conceive the basic idea for the story first (is it a romance? a mystery?) and then the characters become real to me and tell me what they are going to do. (I know. I've already done a blog on how crazy writers are.)
One NYT best selling author says she walks her characters up to a crisis and then lists 20+ different ways she could get them out. She then eliminates anything she has seen done before.
Since Monday's blog referred to Jim Butcher's novels from The Dresden Files, today I'll refer you to Jim's blog from April 2008 where he shows you his pattern for plotting one of his complex supernatural battles.
Don't worry if none of these styles work for you. Find one that does. The key isn't how you write the novel; it's what you have when it's finished. Enjoy the journey.
Do you have a particular plotting idea that works for you? Share it?