I've been having trouble with Chapter 8, fortunately only partly due to writer's block. I've realized that there are some holes in my novel because I wasn't making one of the characters important enough who I had written into it as being important. I'd also been forgetting several of the plot points that were also important to the story (hence why I was having a block when I thought it was too thin a story). So now what I'm doing is going back and doing an "event map". Normally the characters in my stories run away with them but as I have started holding the DM position I've realized how I like to write is a very similar thing. I like to plan the stories that I DM for people by creating events that can happen when they reach a particular place. Some events will happen when they get there and you know they're going to get there because you've set the premise or the story up that way. Now the nice thing is the when or the particular order doesn't always matter unless it sets off a more important event later. So I'm taking the same premise with my writing. I'm going to do an "event map" instead of a plotline or outline for my novel.
Basically that means I'm going to write out all the possible plots and subplots, attach which characters are going to be needed in each one so I know where they cross over and who's important for each segment and then I'm going to write major events in each plot-line that needs to happen and which characters NEED to be involved. I've decided not to write a true outline this time, though I've been doing a synopsis for each chapter and that's been helpful. I suspect that doing it this way instead of as a definite outline I'll be able to keep more flexible. What do you guys do to plan your story? There's lots of comment space!