I’ve been asked frequently over the past few weeks if I write an outline before I write my cozy mysteries. I’d like to lie and say that I write an outline and stick with it but that is not the case. Often the plot changes frequently, subplots move around, characters advance and the final story doesn’t resemble what I thought it would when I started.
My soon-to-be-released Killer Finds, the third book in the Antique Hunters Mystery series, is a perfect example. The final first chapter is incredibly different than the original one. This happened throughout the book. Unexpected things happened and the final conclusion was much different than what I thought it would be when I started.
I would love to be one of those authors who can write a solid outline and then follow through with it to the end. I’ve dreamed of having that type of discipline. But that might ruin my surprise. I like not knowing where the story is going and watching it evolve. It provides an element of surprise for me as well as keeping me interested in the story so I keep writing. In fact, writing Killer Finds was so much fun that I am now one-third of the way into the fourth book in the series.
And, like the last one, it is going off in surprising directions. I am excited to learn more about my characters and to see them evolve. I also am intrigued to see the murderer evolve from who I thought it was going to be originally. And, maybe, someday I’ll write an outline and stick with it. Though, somehow, I doubt ti.