Well, while I was googling, I came across a site describing the Snowflake Method. I read it, liked it, and then discovered that the man who came up with is also a physicist (awesome!) and a computer software developer, not to mention a novelist. So I took a look at his program he had for sale, and after the initial sticker shock, ordered it. (He offers a 50% discount if you buy his Novel Writing for Dummies book.) Yes, it was expensive. Yes, my husband looked at me like that when I told him. But but but! It seems to be working! I have organized my novel already! I have written a one-liner that gets right to the core of my novel. I have written a short synopsis that makes describing the novel to random strangers much easier (have you ever had the deer in the headlights look when someone asks you what your novel is about??). I have expanded that into a page-long synopsis detailing the novel. I have figured out the point of each character (what he/she wants, what is their downfall, what is their saving grace, what they are like) and then described the story from each point of view (which was amazingly helpful and I wish I'd thought of it sooner). I am just about to expand my page-long synopsis into a four-page synopsis. Next, I will outline each scene.
You could do all of this without the software, of course, but it's just so cool. Used in conjunction with Scrivener, I will be banging this thing out in no time, and when I'm done, it'll make sense.
By the way, I was able to see Tamora Pierce speak at a fundraiser in my neighborhood this weekend, and she was fabulous. There were only about twenty people there, including Bruce Coville, who is always nice each time I see him. (I run into him in public places here! It's like living in Hollywood, except that it's Syracuse and he's not an actor!) Tamora Pierce spoke about how, like a buckaneer, she pillages the great works of the ancients, the ideas that have been passed down, and all she sees around her to build her worlds and stories. She is an awesome, talented writer!
Bruce Coville made my day because at first he didn't recognize me (we've only met twice before, so I wasn't expecting him to recognize me anyway) and then he said he thought I was one of the high school students. (Gasp! Squee!) I'm sure he was just being nice, but it sure made me feel great for the rest of the day. And the next day. And today. :-)
Having these two brilliant authors for neighbors is wonderful. I hope I'll be able to tell them I've sold a book the next time I see them!