I have just been given the honour of becoming Patron Of Reading for The Wordsley School near my home town of Stourbridge. My first visit was all about playing God - creating characters and introducing dilemmas to see how they react. I also talked a lot about how to plan a story, beginning with an Inciting Incident and using turnarounds...
My own planning has changed a lot over the years - from my own ad-hoc scribbling to using Book Maps. Both of which work well, by the way.
Recently however, I've been trialling Scrivener and it's perfect for generating and arranging your story ideas - like I have done here for one of my own ideas, a story called INCARNATE. For me, the cork-board is really useful for sketching out your ideas because you can move them around freely just like cue cards and you can really get to grips with your characters and storyline.
Normally, I'm not a great fan of planning using software and I still like to map things out on a huge piece of A3 but this one really seems to work well. You can keep all your research and sketches in one place and really get to grips with creating your masterpiece.
I recommend giving it a try.