Once I’ve developed an idea into a few key scenes, plot points, and characters, I then make a framework upon which I’ll build the manuscript. It is also during this stage where I’ll further develop characters and conduct research. (Actually, I do research throughout the entire writing process, as needed.) My outlines look a little like a schematic drawing or a flow chart connecting characters and plot points from the beginning of a story to its end. And then I’ll write a few paragraphs about the key characters – their history, some descriptive details, etc.