Tag Archives: writing craft

YA Mysteries: 5 W’s and an H — Where?

One of the best known items of writing advice is “Write what you know.” I’ve appreciated SinCNE author Lisa Haselton’s sharing of a local policing course, as an example of how “what we know” expands according to what we choose … Continue reading

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“Bloody Murder”: Compendium of Homicide, “YA” Style

The Boston Globe today carries an interview by Craig Fehrman with an academic — Michelle Ann Abate, professor of literature at Ohio State. Abate has compiled a list of “grisly literary hits for kids,” as Fehrman describes her work. It … Continue reading

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Promises Versus Expectations: YA Mysteries

I love this street art (by Banksy, I believe), which I photographed in Boston a few years ago while doing research for my latest YA mystery, Cold Midnight. Wow — are we canceling the American dream? I instantly pictured different … Continue reading

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Suddenly, She Knew Her Next Move: When the Young Adult Mystery Makes the Leap

One of the big “issues” in young adult fiction is the level of violence in the books. And that’s “violence” in multiple forms: beatings, abuse, sexual abuse, death by murder or manslaughter, death by suicide. There are long and complex … Continue reading

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Revision IS Writing: And It Makes YA Mysteries Much Better!

At least once a week, a writer will respond to my enthusiastic salute of “Great week for writing, isn’t it?” by saying, “I wish I were! But this week I’m editing” — which to an active writer is shorthand for … Continue reading

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YA Mysteries: Tangled Threads in the Middle

This diagram is one of the simplest to show how threads can be used to carry the movement of the mystery novel — in this case, from The Technique of the Mystery Story by Carolyn Wells (more here: http://gaslight.mtroyal.ca/ToMX24.htm). Three … Continue reading

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YA Mysteries: Beginning, MIDDLE, End, Part 3

Choosing the target age of a “young adult” (YA) mystery is an adventure in itself. The genre usually markets to readers aged 10 to 15, maybe 17. And, as mentioned by 22-year-old author of YA fiction Shannon A. Thompson (see … Continue reading

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YA Mysteries: Beginning, Middle, End, Part 2

There are plotters and pantsers among mystery writers — plotters being the authors who work out the plot in detail (often using some form of software to keep it all together or, like Jennifer McMahon, colorful “stickies” on a work … Continue reading

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YA Mysteries: Beginning, Middle, End, Part 1

Although the “young adult” (YA) mystery series I’m now writing is set “today” in Vermont’s capital city of Montpelier, I also write YA mysteries set during other time periods. On school visits, I encourage students to try this themselves! History, … Continue reading

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YA = Young Adult — But What Does That Mean in Mysteries?

After mentioning that writing a YA for “the kid you used to be” doesn’t necessarily reach today’s YA mystery market (https://sincne.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/ya-mysteries-not-for-the-kid-you-used-to-be/), I decided to refresh some definitions of YA and link up to some good resources. You’re a mystery writer … Continue reading

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