What exactly is a plot? According to the Merriam Webster online dictionary a plot is a series of events that make up a story. See the url here (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plot).
So how does one successfully create, construct and implement a plot? One would be advised to create an outline (more on that later), or rough draft of their story. Starting with a beginning then going to a middle and finally coming to an end. Some writers take notes on different things that pique their interest, others simply begin writing and finally some plan out exactly what they want to write and how to write it. No way is better than another way in most cases, though this is dependent upon what type of story one is crafting.
A master at her craft for creating intricate plots was none other than Agatha Christie. Her mystery novels show an excellence in being able to weave together numerous events to create a final plot with many sub-plots along the way. Her stories intentionally created misdirection to keep the reader guessing as to the outcome of her stories. She used deep plotting to keep her stories alive.
Others that shall remain unnamed use barely any plots to keep a story alive. This is most notably seen within the movie industry, though not always. The point is, a plot can be extremely well thought out or it can be rather shallow.
Whether one uses a thin plot or a thick plot, it is best to remember that it is the lifeblood of the story. Without a plot, the story is a random collection of events that have little to no correlation to one another. This ends up being a rather bad story. Imagine if you will, trying to have a conversation about something and the people you are speaking with keep jumping from one subject to another. This makes it extremely hard to stay focused on the conversation at hand and ends up being disjointed.
Methods that one uses to create a plot are taking notes, writing out multiple scenarios and joining them together and starting from the beginning and going through to the end. Each has their advantages and disadvantages.
This is a method that perhaps allows for a wide variety of disparate events notated that can then be woven together to make a meaningful story. The key to this method is to have an idea of what one wants to write first and taking notes from sudden ideas or events that occur throughout the day or night. This is not to say that all of the notes taken will be incorporated into your story, yet it is entirely possible, depending upon how they are structured together.
This method actually allows for creating different stories and being able to weave them together to make a cohesive construct. A more expanded method of the taking notes method above. Rather than random thoughts and events captured, these are actually mini stories that are woven together. This is a great method to employ when one is writing a mystery story, though one must take care to be able to see the final product before it is started.
Beginning to End.
This is where the most extensive use of the creative process comes into play. Here we have a method that does not rely on notes or scenarios crafted beforehand, nor even an outline of a sorts. This is a method that actually has the most rewarding effect for the author of the piece. This is accomplished by way of being able to allow the subconscious mind to work through the conscious mind. Everything is done behind the scenes of the perception of the author. The use of this method actually increases the creativity of the author in that it allows the free flow of ideas.
This method of writing is where the author creates a rough draft of the story, a synopsis, if you will, that lays the foundations for the plot, the character development, and the overall story in general. The way an outline works, is the author has an idea for a story, and fills in milestones of the story and the characters of the stories. Using this method allows the author to formulate the story to their liking before actually committing to a larger endeavor. This can be a great tool to create multiple stories in a series, building upon one another. Beginning with the first, it can create a direction, and as each outline is formulated for the following story, they can actually build up to a quite divergent and enthralling series of books.
While each method noted above has its pros and cons, one thing that any author must do while employing any of them is to be able to look at their work afterward critically and trim or expand it where need be. This is mostly left up to editors, though the author would be wise to look objectively at their creation and see where and how it can be improved. This is not to done to such an extent that the author immobilizes their ability to craft.
Whichever method that is utilized, once the author creates their story, it is wise to sit back and do something different then come back to their story later and polish it up. This gives a fresh outlook on the story and allows one to see how well the plot is crafted.
Remember, a good plot will keep the reader interested and keep coming back for more. A weak plot is a jumble of words on paper that end up being a waste of space and actually hurt the author in the long as they shall have less of an audience.