Pre-writing steps by Romance Author Roni Loren where she shares 6 things she does before she starts writing
The first time I wrote a novel, I started out with a summary and I realized about 3 chapters in ,when I kept getting stuck, that I wasn't a "write from the top of your head" person. I ended up making a list using bullet points (about a page) of where the story was going and also alternate routes the story could take if I changed the villain.
Now, instead of just making a list, I write a bare bones synopsis. Reading Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel: How to Knock ‘Em Dead with Style by Hallie Ephron helped me a lot with organization and the worksheet is based off of reading this book
I won't give the whole story away 🙂
Beginning: To escape memories of her husband's death and help her son deal with the aftermath of his kidnapping, FBI Agent Ellen Pearce quits her job and moves to home of family friend Roger Brennan to start over. But when she arrives at Roger's, the house is on fire…
Single-handedly taking down a crime syndicate did not win FBI Agent Ellen Pearce any points with her family… what’s left of it. Her husband’s tragic death was a fall out of solving the case, and her son was kidnapped, held captive for days before she found him.
A clean break. That was what her son needed. So she quit her job. Packed up and moved to the home of family friend Roger Brennan. Roger lives in The Glen, a sleepy rural town in Scotland where the Sheriff only used his weapon at a gun range and the only criminal activity was street racing by bored teenagers. But nothing stays calm in Ellen’s life for long.
First, a fire breaks out in Roger's house, but the police and the fire department rule it an accident, an out of control prank. As the violence of the pranks escalates to murder, the authorities point to Roger the perpetrator and Ellen is forced to make a tough decision – to defy her moral compass and hand in a man she believes is innocent, or risk the reforged relationship with her son by solving the mystery herself. Either way, she must once more face the loss of someone she loves.
Heroine:Ex-FBI Agent Ellen Pearce
Hero: Entrepreneur Roger Brennan
Villain: sssh can't tell
Main Plot – Whodunnit ?
Innocent suspects made to look guilty: I usually have 1 or 2, no more than 3
Subplot(s) – Romance (Roger/Ellen), Effect(s) of kidnapping on Ellen's son etc.
Secondary characters: Ellen's son, Sheriff…
Plot Point 1
Plot Point 2
Plot Point 3
Plot Twist 1: (Innocent suspect made to look guilty) Red Herring#1, Clues that point to the villain
Plot Point 4
Plot Point 5
Plot Point 6
Turning Point 2: (Innocent suspect made to look guilty) Red Herring#2, Clues that point to the villain
Plot Point 7
Plot Point 8
Turning Point 3: Seems hopeless aka black moment aka climax
Plot Point 9
Plot Point 10
Turning Point 4: True villain revealed
Also if you like planning and post-its!, try Scrivener – I just started using it and going through the tutorial-you can add character pictures, playlists and videos. Here's a snapshot