OK so I accidentally ran across this wonderful way to plan out your novel back at NaNoWriMo time. It made so much since to me and I just loved it. However, not having the foresight to realize that at some point I wouldn't be able to find the link in the forums I did not copy down the name of the system or where I found it. I did happen to write down the basic instructions so can still use it, but there was a lot more detail and I would love to find it. I have had several friends searching, all at once at a table at Denny's, and still we didn't find it.
Today, I was searching around and stumbled across Nigel Watts “Eight Point Story Arc” Which is good and close. So I thought I would share it. His book is: Writing A Novel and has a lot more than just the story arc in it.
Stasis – This is your characters everyday life. Before the story really starts.
Trigger – This is something that is beyond the control of your character. It can be big or small.
The Quest – The quest is stimulated by the trigger. The quest can be to return back to the Stasis or to gain some new and pleasant state.
Surprise – This part takes up most of the book. It is comprised of the obstacle and twists that keep the characters moving forward. They shouldn't be too predictable, but if they are way out in left field they won't be believable.
Critical Choice – This is when the characters medal is tested and they must make a choice to proceed. They could also choose not to proceed. This is often a choice between right and wrong or more epically good and evil.
Climax – Is the culmination of all the surprises and choices in the quest and is the height of action.
Reversal – Is the natural consequences of the climax. The characters, especially the main character should be changed by the reversal.
Resolution – Is where you wrap everything up and establish a new Stasis.