I have a story idea… And it’s all in my head but I’m not sure where to start writing.

Here’s the thing: it’s basically a mystery. I have a plot, a conspiracy to commit tax fraud and funnel pork into three unscrupulous pairs of hands. They share a connection to each other, but are keeping the connection secret in order to indulge in a little old-fashioned corruption. It’s all about the Benjamins for them, but then they get scared, go a little too far, and someone who may or may not have been investigating them gets murdered. It’s “ripped from the headlines”, as they say.

Unknowingly, a cynical semi-innocent guy finds out about the murder, and because of his background, starts turning over rocks to see what he can find out… and eventually uncovers the whole plot and brings it to light.

That’s the short version. Right now, I’m trying to decide if I should outline the plot and the characters involved first, then start writing at the point where the hero of the story first gets involved.

Or should I outline all the characters first, on both sides (pro- and an-tagonists)?

Or should I just start outlining the whole thing, and then once it’s all down in skeleton form, pick the best place to start writing and consider the rest “background”, to be filled in in detail as I need it?

Or should I screw all the planning and just start writing scenes and then string them together later when I’ve got some narrative flow going?

Every time I sit down to start one approach, I get so far, then start over-thinking like crazy and scrap it to go back and try one of the other approaches.

Dammit. I hate being all non-decide-y.