Around the first of the year, I asked for suggestions for plotting techniques and writing software, as I was toying with my Shiny New Idea.
Well, I didn't get too far with the new idea, but I did learn a lot about Scrivener and outlining.
I HIGHLY recommend Scrivener for Windows (the Mac version has more features, but the Windows version has the basic functionality that makes it such a useful tool). It's free in beta-mode until the official version comes out. Scrivener is not a plotting technique so much as tool to organize all kinds of writing activities.
While I was reading McKee's Story, I took detailed notes in Scrivener. Because of the organizational structure of the files, I can quickly access my notes about say, the Inciting Incident or Crisis/Climax/Resolution.
Then I copied my entire MG MS into Scrivener, chapter by chapter, because I wanted to re-write the opening. Because I had all my McKee notes in the same story project, it was easy to flip back and forth between my notes, make new notes about ideas for the rewrite, and eventually to use the corkboard to diagnose and redesign my opening. It looks something like this (the different cork pins are different POVs):
Now that I'm starting Draft 4 of my YA novel, I'm once again using Scrivener to organize my thoughts, analyze the plot structure, and embark on the rewrite. Scrivener makes this gargantuan task very manageable.
By the time I get back to Shiny New Idea, I'm going to be a Scrivener Pro, and it will be well worth the $40 when it is released (and will hopefully have more of the Mac-Scrivener features as well).
The one thing I wouldn't recommend using Scrivener for is actual writing.
The word processor in Scrivener is not very powerful, and I like having my entire MS in one document (although breaking it into chapter-file-chunks for reorganizing/rewriting was very instructive). Even though I was designing the rewrite in Scrivener, I did all my actual writing in Word.
Once I get back to Shiny New Idea and work on plotting from scratch, I'll report back on which plotting methods (Snowflake, etc.) I end up using, and how that works out!