I love the NaNo forums. They’re such a good way to avoid writing a novel.
They’re also a good way to avoid sleeping, and get tips on novel-writing in the process. In a thread about outlining, several people recommended the Snowflake Method. It looks pretty intriguing: start with a one-sentence summary of your story, and then go through several more passes, adding more detail each time, until you’ve got a novel.1
I’d try it this year, except that it’s got several weeks worth of planning before you start writing your first draft, and I don’t have several weeks between now and November. It’s frightening enough to think that I have less than a week, and still no character sketch for the confidant or the romantic interest. (Still stuck trying to write Section Sheet 4.)
Maybe next year. Duly filed away in my blog for future reference.
1 The geeks in the audience will recognize fractals and recursion at work. The non-geeks will have no idea what this footnote is talking about.