By Cait Collins
Sometimes plot twists are not satisfying. When the turn-on-a-dime is not set up, the twist falls flat. The inciting incident has no foundation and the reader is left asking. “What happened?” While you can’t spring the twist on the reader, you don’t need to beat them over the head with clues. It is possible to be subtle.
You don’t need a neon sign. Go simple with an unusual car. A vintage convertible from the fifties or sixties appearing in different places along the protagonist’s way hints “clue”. Or maybe “wait for it.” What about a telephone call? Maybe a piece of music stirs a hint of anticipation. Small, reoccurring incidents create a trail to that moment that changes the character’s life. It may be a few bread crumbs, but they allow the twists and turns of the story to have continuity instead of creating an earthquake.