It's back to the plotting board for me.
After writing several novels, some Seat of the Pants, some more outlined, I've finally come up with a system that works for me.
Brainstorm, compost, and otherwise ruminate on a story.
Talk about it outloud, exploring possibilities and fleshing out ideas, either with a friend on IM or with my daughter, Heather, or preferably BOTH.
Throw ideas onto post-it notes and put them up on the plot board. What did authors do before post-it notes, BTW? Arrange, rearrange, tell and retell the story, filling in holes, discarding what doesn't work, and celebrating those A HA! moments that come with such serendipity.
Layer in the spiritual thread, and work everything into the romance thread. Ruminate, discuss, discard and add some more.
Eventually, I take everything I've got off the plot board and incorporate it into a chapter-by-chapter synopsis that gives a one or two paragraph summary of the story, a line for setting. a line for characters present, and a brief statement of the scene goal. This one is especially important as I want to make sure every scene is doing some sort of job and preferably two or three things at once.
When I've sent the synop to a crit partner or two for a looksee, then I'm all set to write. Look out, NaNo, here I come!
How do you plot? Or do you write SOTP? Do you have a system, an amalgamation of systems? Or do you think, "who needs a system, let's just write!"