I am currently attending graduate school part-time and while at the library this afternoon I stopped by the periodicals rack and flipped through the November/December issue of Writers Digest. I read an article titled "The Novelist's Survival Kit" by Jordan E. Rosenfield, author of four novels and current host of "Word by Word: Conversations with Writers"a bi-monthly literary program on a National Public Radio affiliate station.
The article mentions a book by E. M. Forester, Aspects of the Novel. In the book, Forester explains that plot "demands intelligence and memory". Rosenfield's article also mentions Aristotle's "narrative arc" as another example for plot generation in novel writing.
I have assembled about 30,000 words of my latest attempt at novel writing and I'm currently stuck in a rut with it. Armed with the focus on plot that this article provides, I think I'm going to be able to re-charge my batteries and formulate a better plot for my effort. Up to this point, I've been taking the "seat of the pants" approach and just trying to get it all down on paper in a rough first draft form before trying to disect the meaning behind it all. I always figured that the second draft would better lend itself to refinement of things like struture, scene construction, and plot.
I'm not ready to start over from scratch, but I'm definitely going to commit to writing an outline and numbering my scenes to go along with better defining the plot and subplot before I proceed.