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Outlining a Cozy Mystery

A black cat sits to the left side of a dark background while the post title, 'Outlining a Cozy Mystery' is superimposed on the side.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

I realized recently that the most common question I’m asked in podcast interviews, during writer’s conferences, and via email is: “What does your cozy mystery outline look like?”

I’ve always kind of blown my answer to this question, I think, because I’m surprised to get it. I never even thought of myself as an outliner until six years ago (I was a pantster until that point).

My outline has been a work in progress.  But I’ve tweaked it a lot over the years until now it’s the basic tool that I need to jump quickly into a new story.

I’m posting a link to it in this post so that now I can actually have an answer to the question I’ve never answered well before.  :)   Hopefully, someone will find it useful.  You can find the template here on Google Docs and can copy it or download it there.

A few notes about the outline:

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