Fairly early on, you realize that you need more than a simple story. If your characters move along happily in life, without a care in the world, your story will quickly become this:
I'd been writing only a couple of years when I attended a workshop that was led by the woman who wrote this book:
Pure genius. Here's how it breaks down: Every character in every story has a goal, a motivation (a reason for having that goal), and a conflict (something standing in the way of reaching that goal). Once you've outlined that, you can create a multilayered story filled with action and excitement.
Each character also has an internal and external GMC. Here's a GMC chart for The Wizard of Oz:
This is the chart you'll create:
While plotting is far more complex, GMC charts can help you get to know your story once you have that initial idea.
Do you have any special techniques you use to plot?