A lot of conversation goes back and forth about creation and plot ideas so I figured I'd share my personal method for creating stories from beginning to end: First, I set a "Premise" - this premise is very simple, such as "Rogue vampires in a world with no day." Second, I start envisioning the world in which it is set. What time frame? What is different/similar to the regular world we see every day? What animals/races/people are there? Etcetera Third, I imagine the main problem. What is wrong with this world? Is there a war going on? A magical amulet has been stolen? Or maybe someone is just hunting the MC. Fourth, I imagine the characters. I start with a few archetypes and I think of what each character is good for. What will the reader see? Is a character funny or morose or weak or strong. Fifth, I write it all out. I start by writing the premise and the Dramatis Personae. I write a brief description of each character and their relations to the other characters. Sixth, I write out plot points. This is literally just a list basically constructing the flow of the novel. I try to keep in mind conventional rules for story construction. The opening, the event that sets things in motion, the build up and the climax then the resolution. This is by far the part which is the most fun for me. It is here that I let my imagination fly. I say to myself "Okay, now the characters need to face some strange and exotic problem, something completely outlandish." and I let my imagination come up with something interesting. Then I'll say something like "Now we need to illustrate some internal conflict within the MC or within his group of friends.' Each plot point is laid out roughly in chronological order as I tell a very short version of the story in my head. I later expound on each plot point eventually having about a paragraph describing each plot point. At this time, I'm finally ready to begin writing. The only problem I've come across with this structured writing is that it is sometimes easy to get captured within the walls that I made. It is important to leave the plot points flexible enough to allow for creativity along the way as some of the best writing is completely spontaneous.