I write popular fiction and write by the seat of my pants. This means that I don't plot something out. I don't have an outline to work from.
I do know where I have to go. In all of the romance genres that I write in, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, and Inspirational Romance, the ending is the HEA, happily-ever-after, or the newer HFN, Happy-for-now.
But for my new Coast Guard series, I have decided to try my hand at writing as a plotter. I did an outline on 4 X 6 inch cards. I now have at least Many people show the "W" form of plot,
A simple explanation is draw a "W" starting from left to right. Plot point #1 below would be the upper left. The line going to Plot point number 2 is the falling action or the obstacles or problems that occur so that our hero/heroine cannot achieve what they want.
1. Start on high note
2. Go to mattresses (quoting a character from The Godfather)
3. Get up off the mattresses: Go to a better place
4. It's back to the mattresses again, a really bad mattress.
5. Lift your character out of that really bad place and end with a happy resolution.
I currently have more than two dozen cards marking plot
points or turning points. It's an interesting exercise, but I want to get back to writing. I'll let you know whether I think this unnatural state is worth the effort. I do realize that there is a learning curve in any new method.