I realize what my words seemed to indicate. What I intended to indicate was that one should place the shadows and then determine where the highlights would fall. From this scene brightness ratio, one can determine the degree of departure from normal development of the negative. I hope that this clarifies this for you.
This went off into several areas. The first being how I would expose if no meter was employed to the placement of zones if a meter was employed. I apologize for any confusion that this may have caused.