I've always been a pantser which I find easy for short stories, but is proving extremely difficult for me at a novel length.
By definition, plot is a literary term referring to all the events in a story that take us from the beginning to the end. The most basic plot structure consists of three acts: the inciting incident, the main conflict and the climax. Seems simple, right? But it's so much more complicated than that. There are story arcs and critical choices and reversal and resolution-lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
Author and literary agent Weronika Janczuk gave an excellent mini-clinic on plot this week at writeoncon.com. I highly recommend you click on over there and absorb it.
I particularly loved her description about challenging your character,
...throw rocks at her, I guarantee you - I guarantee you - that, even if you have a beautifully rewritten and polished manuscript in front of you, ready to query, which an agent may sign and even sell, you could have challenged your character more.She also gave a wonderful explanation of a plot template which turns out doesn't have to be a step-by-step list of scenes or chapters, but can help you explore your story arc before you take the plunge into your novel.
This really clicked with me and gave me a renewed sense of excitement about my current project.
So now I'm off to write as a pantser with a plot template. Lions and tigers and bears beware.