Many writers would rather have a root canal without the benefit of Novocain than to plot out a story. I cannot say that I am much different. Nevertheless, it is important to realize that no matter how you choose to write your story that your mind is subconsciously plotting the story whether you like it or not. With this in mind, and for those who do not want to do a formal plot outline, I would suggest that you at least familiarize yourself with the most proven plotting methods. Those set out by Harold Weston, in his book Form in Literature, would be a good start. This way it will become instinctual—even if it takes place only in your subconscious—and as a result, your chances of producing a more intriguing storyline will increase tremendously. I am providing in this post a few pages from Pat Kubis and Bob Howland’s book, The Complete Guide To Writing Fiction And Nonfiction And Getting It Published, Second Edition, 1990 and available from Readers Digest Book Club and other book outlets. The “W” Diagram, has become a standard plotting method—and is easy to understand and follow. I hope this helps answer many members questions regarding plot. I think this is an essential book to any writer’s arsenal and highly recommend you including in your collection. Note: I could not get good image quality, so you will have to zoom in on the image. Mouse over and click on the symbol at the lower right corner of the image. PS: Understanding the mechanics of plot and using them are two different things. And although, I understand plotting technique, I now choose not to plot about 85% of the time. And if I do plot, it is more quick notes than anything else. But this does not alter my belief that one should understand the process of plotting whether they use it or not.