This year, it is my plan to compose more articles here on my official author website, giving you—my readers, fans, followers, and anyone else who is interested—a glimpse into my more personal work, my inspiration, and my creative process.
To start this year off right (before I lose my chance in January) I wanted to share a little about my writing process with you. Today, I’m going to focus on my personal planning and organization process leading up to writing a manuscript.
My very first book I wrote was a story I had written notes and ideas about for almost two years before I started the actual manuscript itself. At that point, writing cozy mysteries was just a side thought—a dream—in comparison to the rest of my life. At the time, I was working as a social media marketer, publicist, and content creator for various websites, publishers, and magazines. Basically, I was a freelance contract worker, and I was struggling to make ends meet. I never once believed this book I had made so many notes about would ever get written, let alone published.
Lo and behold, a few years later I found myself suddenly writing the actual manuscript for that story. Now, after almost ten months of writing full time, I’ve created my own planning process I use for each book. It is by no means a perfect system, but the whole point of honing your craft is being willing to always learn and improve.
Planning and Outlining
First, I do character outlines for the murderer and a victim, writing a few sentences about each of them. Then I fill character outlines for the rest of the suspects and witnesses. Once I have the victim, murderer, motive, and suspects in place, I begin writing a chapter-by-chapter outline of the story based around those characters. I usually try to write only one or two sentences per chapter to keep it simple and quick. When the plot outline is complete, I am ready to begin writing he manuscript!
And there you have it. That is my planning and outlining process for writing a mystery novella. Make sure to check back here on my author page each week for new articles. You can receive updates about all my new articles, and about each of my book releases, by following me on Amazon.