Such a tricky and much argued subject. To outline or not to outline.
Outlining for the crime novel has a few differences - nuances - than for some other genres. For example, were you to be writing a romance novel, your emphasis would be on the characters and their interactions and misunderstandings.
With a crime novel, you are in some ways structured by the fact that you must have a crime - usually a murder or series of murders and, because the crime novel is supposed to be a morality tale, clues that lead your detective to a killer.
This means you must have an idea of not just the clues, but how and where you are going to write them - seeding your clues within the text. What a crime writer must be able to do is give the reader a complete surprise at the end, or at least a couple of I didn't see that coming moments, but also be scrupulously fair to the reader.
I was a huge fan of Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse. When the programme came on, I would sit with an A4 pad noting down what I thought were clues and trying to work out who the killer was. I wasn't often right in my deductions, but it did teach me how important seeding the clues are for crime writers. And, logically following on from that, you must have some kind of outline to present the story in a way that, when the reader finishes the book, they have enjoyed it because the author was fair.
Outlining can be done is so many ways, but the important thing is that the way you choose must be relevant to the way your mind works. If you want to read more, my blog is HERE
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