What Kids Should Know Crime is a bad thing. When a crime happens in the real world, it means that somebody has been hurt, property has been damaged, or some other negative situation with serious consequences has occurred.
Not only were they my role models as I was growing up, they also inspired me to eventually write my own mystery for young readers, The Great Scarab Scam. Writing The Great Scarab Scam was great fun, and sharing it with new readers--and writers--keeps me ever grateful for the world of children's literature.
I also get asked a lot of questions about the writing process: Do I have any special tips for writing children's mysteries? Here are my top Unlike mysteries for adult readers, mysteries for the middle-grades usually avoid solving an actual murder.
The best type of crime to center on is what is called a "caper," e. There's an old adage that says girls will read about boys, but boys won't read about girls. I don't know how true this really is, but it's been my experience that boys WILL read about girls if the girls are fun, lively, and adventurous--exactly what's required to be the main character of a mystery.
I've also been delighted at how many mothers tell me their sons enjoyed reading The Great Scarab Scam, which just happens to feature a girl named Lydia Hartley. Boy or girl, your child sleuth should always be a "real kid," one who experiences all of childhood's highs and lows with a good deal of imagination and sense of curiosity.
Description and detail should be carefully thought out--too much of either and you've lost your young reader; not enough and you'll lose the flavor of your story. I've found the best approach is to always go for the child-oriented details: Goals, rewards, and any prizes for solving the crime should also be kept to child-sized portions.
For instance, a child might be more motivated to win a new bicycle rather than go after a million dollars. To a child, the adult world can be a scary place, but the playground can hold even greater terrors. What might be considered trivial in the adult novel, e.
Make sure you balance crime-solving with real-life kid problems, too. Speaking of real life, you want to make your junior detective act and sound real and far-from-perfect. Character flaws are vital for maintaining reader identification as well as for setting up your conflict and story set-backs.
That said, junior detectives do need some special gifts and traits to help them along their way. I found the best solution is to give your character a deep-seated interest such as Lydia Hartley's passion for archaeology.
It also helps to add on a specific personality trait that will keep your character willing to stay on track. In Lydia's case that trait was loyalty to her family.
The best way to understand and use childhood dreams, wishes, fears and goals is to explore your own childhood and bring those emotions to the page. Take out your journal and ask yourself: What were my greatest fears as a child?Writing mystery stories with kids is one of the clasroom's least writing mysteries!
Au contraire! Writing a mystery story is one of the most enjoyable ways to improve writing skills. Writing The Great Scarab Scam was great fun, and sharing it with new readers--and writers--keeps me ever grateful for the world of children's literature.
I also get asked a lot of questions about the writing process: Do I have any special tips for writing children's mysteries? Writing for Children and Teenagers by Lee Wyndham has a good chapter on writing mystery novels. Writing Crime Fiction by Lesley Grant-Adamson is a good general introduction to writing suspense, although not specifically aimed at children.
When I first sat down to write The Nowhere Emporium, I didn’t really think of it as a mystery novel at leslutinsduphoenix.com was just a story I knew I really wanted to tell.
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It’s my pleasure to share with you some fun, quirky, story ideas for writing mysteries. (This is the fourth in my series of story ideas, by the way.
If you’re interested in the others, check out 20 fantasy story ideas, 20 sci-fi story ideas, and 20 romance story ideas.