Plotting Technique is perhaps one of the most important aspects of Novel Writing, unless of course you are a pure Pantser, and so I worship your genius. But even then you may decide that plotting post Pantsing your way through draft one, might be useful for your editing and rewriting process.
I am a plotter; an annoying slow and precise plotter that drives my father crazy with slow progress in my novels and story ideas. My plotting has been haphazard and an annoyingly challenging process until recently. I have tried Mind mapping, Scene cards, Dot-points, Plotting worksheets, and many more I cannot even remember. I felt like I needed to plot but could not find a way that suited me. During my last NaNoWriMo attempt I finally figured out my technique, the one that works for me.
My NaNoWriMo Novel is a story with two main components. Essentially it is a story about a young girl with some supernatural abilities struggling to prove her worth to her family and herself, but on a deeper level there is a psychological path that mirrors or follows the plot at the same time. When I tried to plot this story I kept bumping into the issue of needing to have both the external events and internal events described in the process.
I combined the classic Plot Diagram or Ploting Hat Diagram, with Chronological Timeline, Free-flow Writing, Mind-mapping, and a Whiteboard. First I drew in the Diagram, where I then wrote in the Inciting Event, Climax and End. Along the bottom I wrote in a rough time scale, like Week 1 Week 2 Week 3… Above the line of the diagram I wrote in the psychological events and below I wrote in the external events. I ended up with a rough estimation of when events happened without having to make decisions on exactly when something happened. I have often found this part difficult, because when I do not know exactly when something needs to happen, making a quick decision stuffs up my later planning.
What is your plotting method? Have you created a personalised style of plotting?