1. Milu92
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    Milu92 New Member

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    the "I-read- it- but- didn't- notice- it- but- it- has- a- crucia-l role-" trick

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Milu92, Jul 29, 2012.

    I am completly new on this website, so sorry if I am asking something thats been answered before!

    Anyway, I wanted to know if any of you guys know a good book or some great tips on this. I think we have all tried it, we read a book and it turns out that a small detail which we don't at first consider important turns out to have a crucial role for the story. A good example I suppose is J.K Rowling's trick with Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape and Dumbledores death (genius twist btw!). It is as if the author somehow hides a very crucial detail in the book and that what I would like to get some tips on (or a good book)

    THanks in advance !
     
  2. Fluffywolf
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    Fluffywolf Member

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    To do this you have to write very consistently with all your descriptions and details. Everything you say needs to have a reason, and never say something without any reason. In most cases, the reader will know the reason right away, but sometimes you can add details of which the reason can not yet be known without the proper context. It's not easy to hide them, often you have to hide them in a fast paced style, somewhere half way a sentence, so the reader is compelled to keep reading and reading past the detail without much thought.

    If you place some detail like that at the end of the paragraph, readers might start to wonder too much.
     
  3. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    It's not that hard. Essentially, you insert the detail that you wish to use later as one of many details early on in your story, and you don't make a fuss about it. You don't repeat it, you don't badger the reader to think about it, until the time comes when it's important to the story. It has to be believable as a detail, or the hinting will be obvious.

    It's similar to, but not the same as, foreshadowing. Of particular note in Wiki's entry is this point; ignore it at your own risk:

     
  4. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    The clever part is that you go back and insert it after you reach a point where you realise you need it, rather than inserting it early on because you plan to need it.
     
  5. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    Yes, go back and insert it when you find need it.

    Read about "Chekhov's gun". If there is a gun hanging on the wall in scene one, it needs to be fired later. The phrase is commonly used to mean that you shouldn't put in any detail that isn't somehow relevant, even though the relevance may not occur until later.
     
  6. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    I always think of it as 'Peckinpah's Bear Trap', as Straw Dogs provides such a glaring example of what Chekhov meant.
     

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