Tag Archive: Setup


If two highly-educated men are able to spend the time from midnight to 2am on a chat program dissecting a TV show, you know one of three things.

  1. It’s one of the best shows ever.
  2. It’s one of the worst shows ever.
  3. It’s a show with so much misused potential that those currently in charge should shut up and let someone else fix it.

Considering the show we were talking about is Agents of SHIELD, it should be obvious we’re talking about Option Three.

WARNING. Spoilers for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and “Turn, Turn, Turn” from here on out. Continue reading

Fooling the Audience

Normally I ignore April Fools’ Day, but it occurred to me that it would be thematically appropriate to talk about a valuable writing skill: hiding things from your audience.

“Wait, what? Hiding things? That doesn’t sound like a good idea! The whole point of writing is to tell them things!”

Exactly! But you don’t just tell them the end first, do you? You build up to it, with clues that set up the twists, but then hide those clues so that it’s still a surprise to all but the most eagle-eyed.

I feel I should issue a warning, though. Learning these concepts can lead some people to feel that all stories are ruined forever. If you’re just here for the reviews, don’t read any further. Personally, I find it enjoyable to spot the tricks, especially with a skilled author; it doesn’t ruin it any more than knowing how to spot individual brush strokes will ruin a masterful painting. Still, I’ve seen people become disappointed, and so I give you fair notice.  Continue reading

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