Books ~ Contents
Writing Mysteries for Young People
I love to read (and write) mysteries because in a mystery something is guaranteed to happen. Both mysteries and real life often reflect a struggle between the forces of good and evil. Present day mysteries can read like the front page headlines of the morning newspaper. By the last chapter of a mystery, people usually reap what they’ve sown. One fun thing about writing mysteries is that you get to play God (a little.) Unlike real life, you can duly reward the good guy every time and make the bad guy pay!
The following sixteen chapters will show you how to construct a mystery. This includes the development of heroes, victims and villains, plotting and planting clues, creating the setting and scene of the crime — and then how to solve the mystery in a believable way.
Introduction: “Once Upon a Mystery”
Chapter 1: “Amateur Sleuths: The Basics”
Chapter 2: “Amateur Sleuths: Tricky Traits”
Chapter 3: “Villains: the People You Love to Hate”
Chapter 4: “The Perfect Victim: DOs and DON’Ts”
Chapter 5: “Setting: Scene of the Crime”
Chapter 6: “Choosing Your Crime”
Chapter 7: “Pre-Thinking Your Plot”
Chapter 8: “Plots and Subplots”
Chapter 9: “Avoid Plot Clichés Like the Plague”
Chapter 10: “Planting Clues”
Chapter 11: “Climax and Denouement”
Chapter 12: “Finding Ideas for Mysteries”
Chapter 13: “Killer Openings”
Chapter 14: “The Magazine Mystery”
Chapter 15: “Cracking the Case”
Chapter 16: “The Mystery Notebook”
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