I know this question has been asked a few times, and I’ve read all the helpful answers, but can’t implement them in my situation. So, would love some further assistance.
I’ve written a psych thriller which ends on a single line and a massive twist that makes the reader go, ‘Huh?? What?? How on earth??’
What follows is an epilogue explaining how the antagonist managed to pull off a complex deception spanning thirty-five years, and that explanation (in order to be plausible) is HUGE! 7,000 words.
It’s the complexity of the deception that makes it plausible, so I can’t shorten it, that would leave gaping holes. I can’t drag any of the information into the body of the book (as you would usually do with info dumps) as it will give away the twist. It has to all come out at the end.
The high-stakes are over, the action is over, so I can’t intersperse it with thrilling scenes. It’s the aftermath. I can’t drag the antagonist into a Poirot/Sherlock Holmes style Q&A as he's already in jail.
I’ve thought about writing the court case, but that has the potential to be dry and drawn out. I’ve considered splitting it into immediate scenes with different characters explaining different parts, but only one character can possibly know the majority of the detail (the rest had to be in the dark for the twist to work) so that came out as an info dump too. I can’t use flashbacks as the POV is the protagonist’s, and it’s the antagonist’s backstory. I tried switching POV and going into the protagonist’s past, but beta-readers found the sudden switch, right at the end of the book, jarring.
I thought I'd get help post-submission but both my agent and editor say it's an info dump, but can't think of a way to fix it!
I’m looking for unique and interesting ways to handle such a massive explanation. It has to go in. But massive explanations and info dumps are inherently boring. How can I keep it alive? A thrill ride that matches the rest of the thriller and doesn’t land flat on its face?
Has anyone read anything where a massive explanation follows an ending, yet it’s still gripping as all hell?