When I first started on my writing adventure, I focused on character development, action and pacing for my stories. There was an air of mystery but not as deeply developed as a true mystery novel.
However, the freedom of writing Young Adult fiction is that you can mix genres and have a lot of fun with it.
So while being an organizer at the Maryland Writer's Conference, I was disappointed that I missed the session on Writing An Action Packed Mystery, given by author Austin Camacho of the Hanibal Jones Mysteries. But Austin is a great guy and while he was taking his 'break' before selling his books he gave me the 5 principles of creating a great mystery.
PRINCIPLES for Creating Mystery in books
1) Have a 'big' thing happen and clue reader in from the beginning
2) Have more than one possible villian
3) Add Suspense and Tension
4) Create clear clues, but don't give it away
5) Distractions, have these that through your reader and lead character off track
WHY WOULD A YOUNG ADULT ROMANCE or SCIFI or PARANORMAL AUTHOR want to understand the recipe for a good mystery?
Adding the element of mystery to any genre gives the author another way to hook the reader in. The mystery doesn't have to be pronounced but adding suspense and tension all create an explosive recipe for an adventure that grabs hold of the reader and doesn't let them go until the ride is over.
Also, by solving the mystery, the author can leave some other aspects of the book unresolved for later sequels and yet the reader feels as though some major question was answered.
WHAT BOOKS HAVE YOU READ WHERE THERE WAS MYSTERY INTERTWINED?
What value did the mystery add to the book. Would you enjoyed it as much without it?