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Stephen Legault: The master plan

For the creator of the Cole Blackwater mysteries, the best crime novels start with lots and lots of butcher paper.

"When starting a new project, the first thing I do is create a detailed outline for the book. This chapter-by-chapter plan includes all the elements of plot and character development, along with a detailed timeline for the novel. I use large sheets of “butcher” paper that I can then tack up on my office wall, allowing me to see the entire novel all at once. These outlines end up looking a lot like storyboards; when I sit down to pen a first draft, I don’t have to wonder what happens next. Instead, I can concentrate on good storytelling."

Stephen Legault is the author of five books including, most recently The Vanishing Track, The End of the Line and the forthcoming Slickrock Paradox. He writes in the mystery, magical realism and eastern philosophy genres. He is based in Canmore, Alberta.

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