Mystery Fiction has always been a popular genre with both kids and adults. It is fun to read and fun to write. Writing mystery fiction for kids requires adding lightness to an otherwise sometimes heavy theme. Kids need to be intrigued and curious about your story, but they also need to be entertained.
1. Fall in love with the hero
Kids respond to interesting characters, they want someone they can identify with. That is why your hero or heroine should be a relatable character with virtues. It is important to offer kids well rounded characters. Think about the message you are trying to get across. Even though you are writing mystery fiction for kids, your characters are a way for you to reach audiences on deeper subjects without hurting the plot.
2. Keep it interesting
Start with the crime, you want to introduce the mystery early on. That way you have your reader’s attention from the beginning. Kids can be a tough crowd, if you don’t provide entertainment early in the book, you might lose your readers. Make sure you always have dynamic scenes to carry the plot, you want excitement throughout the whole story. With kids it’s not really about the page count, but rather one boring page might cost you a reader. Remember that you are not writing for the patient public.
3. Make up riddles and clues
Kids like challenges, so like any mystery fiction readers they want to be involved in the process of catching the perpetrator. Placing riddles and clues throughout your story will make it all the more interesting to read and captivating as well. It will make the reader as part of the plot to try and connect the pieces of the puzzle you leave out for him or her. Make sure you put clues throughout the story that the kids can pick up on. Your reader should always be the detective. Also you should be aware of the age group your readers fall into. That way you can make the clues as obvious or as hidden accordingly.
4. The villain
Everyone enjoys catching the bad guy. That is one of the things that attracts us to mystery fiction. We want to know that at the end we get to solve the mystery and that good will triumph over evil. Writing mystery fiction for kids is no exception. You have to deliver on the villain character as well as on the hero. Make sure your villain is someone that is present from early on, someone the kids will dislike or feel reserved towards to. There is no point in bringing on a perpetrator at the end of the story just for the sake of the plot, the reader needs to know the villain in order to make guesses.