I’ve read a few fanfiction stories of Remington Steele which were quite impressive. As a writer interested in the mystery genre, I thought I might ask others for some advice. How did you come up with the plots for your mysteries? Did you consult any experts in the field to add realism to your stories? Which is the preferred method: to outline or to just write one scene at a time?
Anonymity is an asset in my profession. -- Remington Steele
I strongly disapprove of outlining. I put a few characters in a room and start writing. To outline a story is to tell it, and, once told, your brain will be bored with it.
I belong to the faction that believe character is plot. If your characters are well-defined in your mind, their natural response to any situation provides all the plot you need. I virtually never know how a story will go. I know it seems that wouldn't work with a mystery, but I find it works in all genres. Doubtless, some part of my mind is feverishly plotting under the surface, but I never consciously give the plot a moment's thought.
I love writing fan fictions (but only in German). Usually I need some point to start with and I need a way through the story. Otherwise it's likely to get lost in details or write contradictory things. So find a crime, a culprit, the way he / she hides it, the benefits and alibis and the way he / she can be caught. Everything else comes when it is written. So start out, find a direction and you will just move. I never got bored with my stories, having them in mind is completely different from writing them down.
I would love to be able to do that. I'm not a very good writer. My brain gives up on a story as soon as I outline it. I occasionally have a vague idea of a future scene or of what will happen to someone, but mostly, the story that emerges is as much a surprise to me as to anyone else.
I haven't written RS fan fiction, but I have written other kinds. I did an outline of the first fan fiction I ever wrote, and considering there was about a year's break in the middle of writing it that outline came in handy.
I have VERY RECENTLY started writing fanfic again and while I don't have outlines, what I have scene descriptions and dialogue when the lines are up to snuff.