Continuing on about mystery novels, in addition to the mystery structure there's a few more things I like to know about my book before I get started writing.
The first one: The Crime
Now since we're talking about MG and YA novels, the crime probably isn't going to be anywhere near as bad as in an adult mystery novel (though never say never, I guess). So the saying that a mystery novel has to contain a dead body, doesn't always apply to mysteries for younger readers. Whatever your crime is, it has to fit the tone of your book.
Once you have a general idea of what your crime will be: kidnapping, theft, murder, etc. then there's a few things I like to figure out:
- Crime Scenario (Victim, weapon, scene of the crime, etc.)
- What appears to have happened
- What really happened
- Why this crime matters to the sleuth
Knowing this ahead of time helps me a ton when writing.
--Emily, Miss Querylicious
Photo borrowed from: http://www.mysterygift.biz/mystery.jpg