I’ve finally finished my plot outline! – No easy feat when you’ve been rambling into your computer for a decade, hoping a structured novel will spill out of your head like a Homeric poem, and all that came out was a meandering stream of consciousness that more resembled Lost than Paradise Lost.
The biggest step was breaking everything up into chapters. Previously, I didn’t know if I wanted the novel to be structured chronologically or to shift back and forth according to narrative perspective, so I just left everything in one document per character.
I have no idea why I didn’t change this earlier: it makes the process so much more palatable – as a writer and for the reader.
I mean that sincerely: use chapters, always.