The plots of mysteries are particularly complicated and the details of the settings and characters require special attention to those details. It will make your job much easier if, before you start writing, you set up a system to keep track of things.
You can choose to keep track of details by hand by writing notes on file cards or in a notebook, on the computer by setting up some sort of searchable database, or on a story board.
Regardless of the system you set up, here are a few of the things you may want to include in your notes:
1. Characters. As you go along, you will invent details about your characters that will enhance their presence in your story. Keep a list of those details, so you don't have to search the manuscript for them later.
2. Note all setting information, including:
- geographical locations and descriptions
- scene settings should include details of rooms, furniture, building quirks that may be important to the story later
- the atmosphere of each location is important to ensure you convey a consistent mood
4. People. Keep track of the people who help you and their contact information. You will want to mention them in the acknowledgment section of your book and you may want to send them a copy later.
5. Ideas. Set up a file for ideas that come to you along the way. Don't rely on your memory to recall every brilliant thought you have while showering or driving somewhere. Write them down and put them in one spot.
6. Outlines. Set up a system for plotting out your book. Fill in parts ahead of time as they come to you.
7. Rough drafts. Set up a system of keeping track of your rough drafts. I put a date in the header or footer to keep it all straight. Some other system might work well for you. You'll save time if you employ a consistent system for keeping your computer files straight from the beginning.
Okay..., there's a start to the organization of your work. Please feel free to add your suggestions in the comments section.