Resources for plot development and outlining methods.

Usefulness Rating
Sample Mystery Plot OutlineGreat starting point for your mystery. Goes over all the major elements (and logical order) for writing a mystery. 4
Better Novel Project: Master Plot OutlineThis is a super interesting site that looks at common elements in blockbuster YA novels (Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games) then has an outline based on those common elements. I use the site a lot when I'm stuck at a point (generally in the middle) and am looking for ideas to stir up the plot. 5
Story Planner HelperStory Planner is a really neat site for writers. There have a number of different planning tools to help writers develop their narrative in a way that works best for them. If you're still looking for your own writing method, this gives you a way to look at a number of different methods all in easy-to-use web forms. 5
Story Planner: Take Off Your Pants! Outline‘Take Off Your Pants!: Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing’ by Libbie Hawker is my FAVORITE outlining book. It's simple, logical and character based. It starts with a character flaw then builds up 5 points that make up your Story Core. This Story Planner template gives you a taste of what the method looks like, but I strongly recommend you also check out the book. 5
Story Structure SeriesK.M. Weiland is the QUEEN of outlining and story structure. Her books and workbooks provide a thorough and detailed way to structure your plot and story. This series of articles focuses on story structure. I recommend looking through it prior to starting the outlining process. 5
Writer's Toolbox: TimelineAn important thing to remember when outlining (or editing) is having a timeline of your novel's events. It's not as easy to keep track of in your head as you might think. This article can help!4
Master Plots This article gives a brief definition of the different master plots you will see in fiction. No details on the specific plotting for each, but it's a good place to start understanding what form your story will take. 3
Creating Scenes and SequelsThere are more detailed how-tos out there for writing scenes and sequels. This is a great place to start looking at the two structures and how they work together. 4
How To Structure ScenesIn K.M. Weiland fashion, a detailed series on how to write scenes and sequels.5
Top Ten Plotting ProblemsI'm a huge fan of advice for things NOT to do, so this article was very helpful to me. Sometimes I think it is easier to look at what you have an determine if it's not necessary then it is to look at what you haven;t written yet. In any case, this makes a great checklist, particularly for your first edit read-through. 5
Checklist for Creating a Great StoryYou know I love a good checklist and this one doesn't disappoint. This link actually probably belongs in all the categories since it goes over elements in plot and characterization down to line-level items like dialogue. I use this both after outlining (but before drafting) and after 1st round edits. 5
The Importance of a Strong Opening SceneThis is a detailed breakdown of what goes into a good opening scene for your novel. It's directed at the mystery genre, but applicable to all stories. EXAMPLES of what elements work in an opening scene. 5