How to Outline a Crime Novel Step by Step - Deepstash
Subgenres
  • Whodunits are traditional mysteries in which the perpetrator is hidden until the end. Some aithors are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie.
  • Howdunits focus on the how of the crime. Writers ranging from Joseph Wambaugh to Michael Connelly have written this
  • Whydunits focus on the motivation of the perpetrator. Examples are Mario Puzo’s The Godfather and many of Elmore Leonard’s criminal novel depictions.

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Know Your Characters
  • Your detective is the protagonist
  • From serial killer to good guy gone bad, know your villain
  • Know your victim(s).

Then flesh out all your supporting characters:

  • Partners and sidekick
  • Suspects
  • Love interest
  • Mentor
  • Other supporting characters

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Hero’s Journey to Outline Your Crime Novel
  1. Start with the Detective and the Crime
  2. Reluctance to take the case
  3. Set-Up to set the sleuth on the path toward solving the mystery.
  4. The First Attempt
  5. Reveal Facts and Create Urgency
  6. Broaden the Investigative Scope
  7. Deepening Your Crime Novel Characters
  8. The Big Change which is at the mid-point of your novel, change the focus and scope of the investigation
  9. Motive Revelation and Isolation
  10. Where Did They Go Wrong? The slueth reflects
  11. The Sleuth Has Answers
  12. The Right Answer
  13. The Climax
  14. The Conclusion

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