Outlining aka A Can of Worms
There are varying degrees of planner. Jeffery Deaver, for example, plots every nuance so meticulously, he almost writes a short novel in the plotting phase. Hybrids – and I am one – write a loose road map but allow enough wriggle room for change when you are in the heat of the first draft. Following the road map analogy, I know the beginning and the end and which towns (clues) I have to go through to get to my destination. But whilst on the journey I am more than likely to go off the main road at a tangent. Sometimes that strengthens the story; sometimes it leads into a cul-de-sac. Sometimes getting out of the cul-de-sac gives a glorious opportunity to seed a really obscure clue.
So, let’s look at a few ways of outlining your crime novel.
Whichever methods you use and I emphasise they must suit your writing methods, only take from them what you need.