Plot is a verb. Often new writers will wax poetic about the internal working of their characters, an example is a character who hates mirrors. Hating mirrors is not an action. Hating mirrors is an internal emotion, a passive thing. To bring your novel to the next level and sell it to a publisher, you need to take the passive in your book and make it active. Plot requires action.
So instead of having the character simply hate mirrors, you would create a scene where that hatred of mirrors plays out.
You could, for example, do backstory about the character getting lost in a funhouse as a child, a funhouse full of warped mirrors. And you could pair their getting lost in this place that reflected them back as gruesome monstrous characters to an event in their lives, some trauma that became inextricably tied to those funhouse mirrors. Let’s say the character walked in on one of their parents having an affair, just at the same time as all the neighbor kids were waiting to go to the local fair. So, the kid runs out of the house, undetected by the parent, unwilling and unable to speak of the two-headed monster they’ve just witnessed in their parents’ bedroom, arrives at the fair, and in their state of stress, enters the funhouse, but becomes confused and horrified, and panics in the hall of mirrors.
So, one line in your novel about a character hating mirrors, becomes an entire contextual scene. This is what they mean by Plot is a Verb.
Also, I’m discovering that the current state of the publishing world, as it too is affected by the financial crisis, requires much more plot-driven narratives. Plot sells. Even if you’re writing a literary novel, if you’re serious about getting published, consider how you would add a backbone of plot.
I’m a writing coach: www.artofstorytellingonline.com