So… I have been implementing my newfound plot skills. I am about 13k into a new novel, and the one thing I have learned is this: Don’t be married to the outline.
For me, outline-wise, first thought = worst thought. I almost always come up with something better when I get to that point in the novel. But just to get there, it really helps to have a structure. Even if I know I’m going to throw it away.
So, yes… I’ve been coming up with evil plots to inflict upon my characters, and, when it comes time to pull the trigger, I find an even eviller one. And I think that’s the way it should be.