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need advice for kidnapping in MG novel

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I am writing an MG novel and it's centered on a kidnapping. I am new to writing and need advice regarding details of the kidnapping.  For this age level, should the details be glossed over?  Should it happen to the main character or a secondary character?  How "scary" should the kidnappers be? 
Thank you!
#1 - March 05, 2021, 09:46 AM
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 09:49 AM by linda-mundinger »
Linda Mundinger

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The level of scare is tied best to your MC's age. I've read lots of kidnappings in MGs. The bad guys tend to be ominous rather than outright scary. Some scenes do get fairly graphic (not gross), but nothing like I expect reality might be like.

How far did you want to take this? I certain don't want to read an SVU episode in an MG.

Dave
#2 - March 05, 2021, 12:49 PM

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A couple of episodes of the live action TV series Hunter Street show kidnappings. Examples like that, which are geared for the age group, might give you an idea of how to proceed. I bet you can find examples i books for the age group too. Dave, can you name any? Use those sources as mentor texts, but be sure your version is true to your characters and the needs of your story.

This is key when you're deciding which character should be kidnapped. What does the story call for?
#3 - March 05, 2021, 06:17 PM
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I would think about the hero in your story, which of course could be the victim, saving him/herself, or could be the person who figures out how to save the kidnapping victim. Either way, it's the main character/hero who needs to figure out how to save the day, and then pull it off.

Middle grade can get scary, but first consider what is the story you want to tell. What's at the heart of it?
#4 - March 05, 2021, 06:35 PM
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Wicked Nix's kidnapping predates the story.  The Nethergrim has a bunch children taken. The Foundry's Edge has kidnapping of a father and daughter and I seem to remember it being pretty physical at times.

But those are all Fantasy. I don't tend to note which books have kidnappings. But I know the Hardy Boys had a couple when I was a young man.
#5 - March 05, 2021, 06:41 PM

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As Mrs. Jones says, I'd write your story to start with--get that first draft down and then tinker with the details. Who gets kidnapped needs to be a story decision; you can slide the scariness factor around as needed.
#6 - March 05, 2021, 07:22 PM
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