One of the favourite books on my resource shelf is A Passion for Narrative, by Jack Hodgins. Subtitled, A Guide for Writing Fiction, it was published by McClelland & Stewart in 1993.
Although I read it years ago, today I still dive into it for help with certain aspects of my story. Lately, I've been re-reading the chapter on plots.
The chapter details a wide variety of plot categories--something I find rather daunting--from one Professor Norman Friedman. I love Hodgins' conclusion to all this.
He writes, "Rather than think of plot as a prescribed formula (or choice of formulae) to which you must make your material "fit," I suggest you think of it as a general pattern floating somewhere in the back of your consciousness as you write . . . Let the combination of your material and your hopes for it, rather than anyone's list of characteristics, guide your story's progress."
I find that comforting.
Most helpful to me, at the end of the chapter Hodgins provides some questions to ask myself about the plot, now that I've reached the first-draft stage. These thoughtful questions give me an idea of why it might not be working.