Reader Chap O'Keefe, responding to my post on outlining versus not outlining, suggested logging on to the blog of writer C.S. Proctor for further discussion on the matter.
Good suggestion. In simple, lucid terms Proctor looks at several aspects of writing incuding not only plotting but building characters and using story arcs as defined by modern day Hollywood. She's a real find. I've slogged through entire how-to books on the subject of writing that have taught me far less. http://www.candiceproctor.com/
I mention this because when I'm asked to recommend a book on the subject of putting together a novel I always suggest taking a look at any of them by Lawrence Block. He's not only realistic in his approach, he's also fun to read. The two other books I'd recommend are both by Dean Koontz and are unfortunately long out of print.
But take a look at what Candace Proctor is doing. Whether you're a pro or a beginner, she has a lot of solid, helpful information to share with you.