Well, how about this: I'll tell you how I plotted and finished my last novel. Keep in mind that actually finishing a book, is quite a feat. Lots of people try and fail. I tried a number of times before succeeding. But...I have to say it ended up being easier and quicker doing it the way I did it this last time, the new way, which involved plotting before pantsting.
For me this meant figuring out what would happen in each and every chapter. Not necessarily every little thing (because I haven't quite given up pantsting altogether), but the major event that moves the story along.
Of course plot gets you nowhere without characters, and this massive questionnaire I got from K.M. Weiland proved to be invaluable.
For example, in addition to the usual questions about my character's physical attributes, this questionnaire asked things like this (my answers are in italics):
Current address and phone number: at the start of the story she doesn’t remember.
Strongest/weakest character traits: her impulsivity which gets her into trouble but also makes her brave.
Talents: A sense of direction – and it is this which keeps confirming the way to go. It takes her a little while to recognize it but her internal compass is telling her the right way to go, however much she doubts.
These are just a few of the many questions that helped make my main character more complex, and more real. The interesting thing was that simply by answering those questions I came up up with more questions as well as scenes, backstory, reasons, goals, etc. These in turn helped flesh out the chapters, which made it easier to write. I won't tell you how many revisions later it is but I will say this method allowed me to finish in a little over a year.
I like my new method so much I'm employing it with my next work.
What's your method? What works for you, helps you finish?