A big part of our process when we're writing a mystery is outlining. We would be completely lost if we didn't have some kind of road map while we're drafting. For us, outlining and mysteries go hand in hand. We need to at least have a rough idea of where the story is going. For us that translates into a loose outline of the entire book and then a more detailed chapter outline for Act 1. After we wrote the first act we created an outline for Act 2. This worked really well for us because we had both structure and flexibility as we drafted.
Revising was an entirely different beast. After editing The Liar Society for the nine millionth time, we began to really, truly, whole-heartedly regret our choice to write mysteries in the first place. Keeping track of which clues went where and who we were supposed to suspect and when is enough to make our collective heads explode. Our number one goal while writing was obviously to keep the mystery fresh, but not completely out of left field.
At the end of the day, for us, the most important thing was to have fun with the book. Our hope is always that if we have fun writing, our readers will have fun reading. Hopefully our theory holds up!
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Audi, Vide, Tace,