I’m working on my next novel ‘Night Vision’ which will be published in the new year; I’m editing it properly for the first time, mainly trying to pare down all the unnecessary verbiage – well, winter pruning is best, isn’t it?
I have just come to a really important scene where several vital clues and hints are given to the reader about certain aspects of the story; however I don’t want the reader to properly ‘get’ these hints until the end of the story, in fact all is revealed literally on the last page. I want the surprise ending to be a surprise, but at the same time the reader will think ‘Doh! I should have realised that! Of course, when he saw this, when she gave him that, when he did this that and the other – this is why!’ I want the reader to look back and reread certain parts and see them in a different light once they have the answer from the last page because then they will understand why people say certain things and do certain things.
However, giving a clue has to be balanced by realism and must not be too glaringly obvious, I may want my reader to have suspicions about the way things are going, but there won’t be any suspense if the secrets are revealed too soon.
Secrets… another aspect of the book; by the time you’ve finished reading it you will realise that nearly all the characters have secrets, some are shared, some are concealed, some are accidentally revealed… the reader will have insight into some of them as the story progresses, but the final secrets are not revealed until the end.
I hope I manage this balancing act!!