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2

Your question highlights an important divide in writing: What is important information, and what is important information to the current point of the story. We the readers don't need to know every last detail right from the start, but You the writer need to establish the core elements for yourself before you start working with them, and you can build out ...


1

Andrea, Welcome to the Writing SE Site. I wrote this as a comment, but I wanted to add more than a comment would hold. Yes To your question, yes, if you want us to feel anything about the girl's murder, you need to give us reasons to care about her. The question for you is, what do you want us to feel? We could feel anything you want. Do you want this ...


5

The superficial problem is whether the readers will care about this character, but the deeper problem is YOU don't care about him. You even describe him as "it" --there's no emotional investment here. It's fine to start telling your story at the point where the father is killed, but you need to have done the mental work of imagining his back story, and his ...


4

The primary reason for going into details about a character is to make the reader care about them. The opposite is also true: If you only sketch a character in the most broad ways, readers are unlikely to more than barely notice their demise. That's why nobody cares or even counts how many nameless soldiers, monsters or other enemies the protagonist kills. ...


2

There is a somewhat related character dynamic in the Shattered Earth trilogy, in that a little girl character travels with her father who has recently killed her younger brother: she is, through exigencies, trapped with him for survival, and struggles with loving him and what the both entails and engenders - might be worth your scanning over for beats and ...


9

You don't need to describe the character of the father before hand. You could do that, but that would be irrelevant. In fact the conflict is between the daughter and the killer. In fact, you have several possible conflicts between these two characters that involve the figure of the father: the desire of the girl to remember her parent and the desire of ...


17

Obviously the little girl is doing the hating, and her father is not a stranger. You want HER to hate the killer. You can show that, being little she can even tell him so, there can be a dialogue exchange between them. Her actions, her fear, her speech can all convey her hatred, fear and dislike. You want the reader to empathize with the GIRL, you want them ...


1

To add something that isn't covered much in the existing (very good) answers: plot twists aren't always surprises for the reader, sometimes they are for the character. It can be argued that this doesn't qualify as a twist in a strict sense of the word, but it's a reveal certainly and it's often the exact same reveal as a plot twist except it's been given ...


4

I agree with the other answers posted. One thing that I think should be added to this discussion: the plot driver. What causes things to happen and makes the plot unfold? Ultimately, it's you, the author, but how it's done makes a big difference. In general, from best to worst, the plot can be driven by: characters, events, or writer(s). Character-...


3

An "easily guessed plot twist" is a really subjective beast. There are people who read the phrase "his mother's silver pentagram" and just know, (a whole novel before we know there are werewolves), that a werewolf is going to get killed with it. There are also people who are still wondering how the protagonist is going to kill the big bad wolf right up until ...


3

Is a plot twist still a "twist" if my reader knows it? It is not a surprise, but it is still a twist. Readers can only guess at things, they cannot know anything for certain until they have read it. They may feel certain of something, but it can still be satisfying to have their suspicions confirmed. Are plot twists for the reader or for the characters, ...


19

I'm going with a frame challenge. Not all reveals are a "twist" A twist is new information that changes the meaning of earlier events. This is done by writing 2 plots with the same events. The MC believes the 1st plot until the twist when the 2nd plot is revealed as the true version of events. Readers should be able to re-read the story knowing the twist, ...


37

TLDR - Readers guessing your plot twist doesn't have to mean it's ruined, there are ways to make it satisfying linksassin's answer is good, but I'll offer an alternate idea : Anticipated plot twists can work if they're executed well Take the famous Star Wars example. The twist that Darth Vader is Luke's father isn't a twist for present day first-time ...


10

Balance is key There is a very delicate balance between a plot twist that feels contrived and unrealistic and one that the reader can see coming from a mile away. There is no exact correct answer to this, and a lot of it comes down to execution rather than one being strictly better than the other. Personally as a reader I hate nothing more than knowing ...


13

To your main question, no, a plot twist is only effective and enjoyable if it is not obvious to the reader, requiring careful observation to anticipate the reveal and otherwise being quite a surprising turn of events. There is some discussion here of instances where a spoiler has not ruined the enjoyment of the plot twist, but I think that's different. Those ...


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