Mansfield Manor: The Drafting Process.

My latest short story continues to take shape.

The Murder at Mansfield Manor is taking a long time to start – and that’s because I’m determined to get the foundations right before I get into my storytelling.

The main issue I encountered with my previous story, The Vanishing Villa, was a lack of clarity around the exact order of events, and how they should play out. This time, in order to avoid the hard toil that came with major edits and rewrites, I’m starting with the basics:

  • A full list of characters, motivations, goals
  • A story flow, including key events and parallel happenings
  • A map

Yes, a map. I sat down last night to write and realised that without a clear map of the manor, I would be forever changing things. So I pulled out some paper and sketched the manor in all its glory. It took me an hour, but it was totally worth it – I now have a clear idea of where everything is taking place.

This has cleared the way to continue writing the story with clarity and punch. I’ve already clocked in almost 5,000 words, so the next few weeks should yield the full tale along with all its twists and turns.

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