I found a transcript of an interview on plot at Oz and Ends. Deborah Lynn Jacobs is the author being interviewed. It's a long transcript, and if you skim, you'll need to do a lot of it. But Jacobs talks about starting her books with a premise and then coming up with a character.
In an earlier post I told about Cynthia Lord's workshop presentation in which she gave a talk on a classic plot structure involving giving a character something he or she wants and then creating obstacles to that character getting it. Jacobs' description of starting with a premise involves the question "What if?". She appears to keep asking it throughout the plotting process. "What if?" is another classic method for creating plots. It's probably closer to what I do.
Earlier this month, I considered doing a self-study program here at O.C. that would involve creating scene cards for books I was reading. Yeah. Like that's going to happen. Plus, it would be giving away too much of other writers' work. But what I may try to do here is determine how the plots of books I'm reading are created--do they have plots that are driven by a character's wants and inability to get them or did they begin with a premise?
So you can look forward to that.