Hi! new guy here. I've been interested in writing as an amature for a while, mainly because I have some awesome ideas, but I've never put much effort into it. recently, however, I did sit down and attempt to write something out. I sent it to one of my friends for a review, and got back some pretty harsh (although well deserved) criticism, mostly revolving around the idea that I spent too much time doing nothing in my story. It seems to me that my story really lacks planning. I would often wander off on tangents, or put in completely unrelated things because they were cool, while not actually advancing my plot. Then I would get lost, and become unable to advance my plot, and get frustrated. I think a modicum of planning before-hand could help me avoid a lot of this. However, when I tried to write an outline, I couldn't wrestle it into a logical, useable form...So, I did the next obvious thing-search Google! I came up with this site. So I was wondering; do any of you have a specific way of writing plot outlines that especially helps you? I tend to take a very systematic view of most things I do, which may not be the norm here, but if you have a system you use for laying out plot points, I would like to hear it! Especially if it lets you work out places that might be problematic later. Thanks for your help.