How to punch the reader on the long term memory guts

Hi all

As the title says, how can you achieve the maximum punch in the guts of the brain of the reader that later on it makes him remember that scene in your book in x circumstance?

let me explain further…

As I started to think about how to formulate this question I asked myself: so… what scene did punched my guts? thinking apart from the fewer and most recent series/movies I have consumed, one of the better examples that came to my mind was the red wedding (from the Game of thrones series for those who don’t know), maybe for a lot of you that could be the one too, but, I’m not a great and broader consumer so I know there should be more and maybe better examples. I’m trying to think about how to do that, that moment of “WHAT THE F#CK1N6 HELL!!!” that leaves you speechless, with your mind trying to figure out how all the promises that were building up from the first scene are pretty much not going to happen, how that is going to evolve from that point, to what, but… but how… and it just ends here!? did I missed something?.. but not necessarily ( read “in the same way” if you don’t want the spoiler → )murdering half of the characters without any minuscule promise that they would be back somehow.

Rising the stakes as I understand is a way of doing it, but to what point it starts to be obvious that the things in play begin to seem exaggerated (as I have read somewhere on the forum, the example of the MC having to always save the world from x/y/z thing, again, and again, and sometimes again too) or “the hero” is being pushed beyond the bottom of its misery just for the sake of making the impact even greater? doing it progressively in a long path is a way of going around that problem? or it would be better to go easy and then jump out to a pool from a few million kilometers high like the example given? (I’m sure that there is a parody somewhere, in which the hero has to sacrifice something or else, the villain kills his dog, but also, the brother of the dog looses its partner, but also, the girl he loves would dump him, but also… and so on till it stops being interesting)

Another blurred example:
On one of the last spider-man movies, the whole movie was like a cliche, as we’ve seen since the first one, but then something happened that I didn’t expect. The good guy fights the bad one and bla bla bla, and the girl wants to help and then they start to fall (slow motion camera effect) the good guy punches the bad one and then dives down and save the girl… oh… what? wait, no, she just fainted… on the next scene it would seems that she died but she is going to surprise the… ohh… f#ck…

Maybe I’m a little bit late for myself as I have almost finished the first book of the series, and I’ve already have a long road of ideas to use for the coming ones, but I really could steal learn from your ideas to try to enhance the story as I’m sure it have a lot of room to.

For any examples given it would be appreciated to be at least explained in a few words using spoiler tags, as I don’t really have much culture around anime/probably some really famous movie/recent series that everyone talks about/etc.

So, if you still don’t know how to answer here are some simpler questions that could help… maybe.
1- What are the punch in the guts of your brain that till this day you still remember how you felt when you saw/read/imagine that scene?
2- How you achieve that in a story?
3- Do you want to achieve that in your story?
4- Why? /Why not?
5- I guess this only happens when the reader is really invested on the story right?
6- Am I over-thinking what is simply known as a plot twist or it is really a lot more complex?
7- Would you like to adopt me as your boyfriend? ←(only intended as kind of a joke for female hetero)

And that’s all. Thanks for your time, have a great life!

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1: A throwaway line in Persona 5 that reveals a traitor
2: Establish important rules about your universe, then use those rules subtly in a way where most people would overlook it
3: Yes
4: Cos it’s cool
5: Sometimes, the reader isn’t as invested, and so, they’re not paying as much attention as they should, which is how you can cath them off guard.
6: No

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This may not quite be what you mean, but I have a little example from a horror game called Siren for the PS2 that always stuck with me.

If you haven’t heard of it, the basic idea is that there are ten playable characters that you bounce between, and they each have their own stages. One PC is a teacher who is trying to protect one of her young students. I’ll bury the whole thing in a summary tag because it’s kinda long.

Spoilers ahoy!

At the end of her second level, she sacrifices herself to save the child by luring some zombies to a gas truck and then blowing it up. The reason this particular scene stood out to me is that the game made me play out her sacrifice (mostly via menu choices) - I had to get her over to the truck, honk the horn to draw the zombies over to her, open the gas valve, and light the lighter. Because I was so focused on completing the level, I didn’t realize the implications of what I was doing until right after I clicked “Use lighter”, and had that gut-punch moment as I realized I had just ordered the woman to blow herself up without really meaning to (even though that was the correct/only decision to be made).

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  1. agree with @ the_phantom, great example. A minuscule hint most readers won’t pick up on until the second reading. If you’ve happened to read The Secret History, same deep feelings of betrayal from all the characters I trusted. That one still sticks with me.

  2. make it subtle, there should be hints but nothing too obvious.

3 & 4) if appropriate. Not every story needs a gut-wrenching betrayal.

  1. yes, if I don’t care about characters, I don’t really mind their actions.

  2. You’re not overthinking it IMO, it qualifies as a plot twist but should be deeper than just a plot twist, it should be an emotional gut punch on top of a “wow, didn’t expect that.”

  3. hey :smirk:

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I think one of my biggest punches to the gut was in B’t X - the anime version (didn’t read the manga).
The story is irrelevant to how said punch was played out, so I don’t really need to talk about the overall plot.
But to explain things: the whole thing is a shonen anime like you’d find a lot, with a boy who finds himself partnered with a robotic beast and they fight an evil nation and so on. Other characters join them over time and stuff happens… Overall, the world is a bit bleak, but the characters are getting stronger and they build friendships and things seem to go well… And then suddenly, in one of the last episodes, all things go to hell. Like, it’s awful. Because of one thing that goes wrong, one character dies, then it escalates and escalates… And well, the heroes manage to win their war, but you suddenly get the point of view of a secondary character telling a story to the kids of the orphanage she and one of the MCs were taking care of… and she tells them how the MCs all died in a heroic way to save everyone.

That was genuinely AWFUL. I think in this case it affected me so much because I didn’t really expect that to happen with how things were going. The first death is very shocking, and you don’t get time to recover before it becomes worse and worse, and it puts you in that state of panic, but you still keep hope. And then, it goes to that scene at the orphanage, where you basically realize the entire anime was already in the past, with that poor girl telling the story. And well, she truly loved some of the characters who died, so it’s extra awful because of that. You get basically three successive punches: the first death, the fact all goes to hell so fast, and the reveal at the end.

What I felt when watching that… well… so much confusion and sadness and anger, and genuine panic when it all started.

How one achieves that in a story? Well, I don’t write games here, but when I do create stories… I guess the important thing is to get people to care for the characters, obviously. Aside from that, I tend to use two tactics. Either like the example mentionned before - make it suddenly go unexpectedly to hell. Or make a grim and sad story, where things are bad, characters are miserable, and overall it feels like it can only get better from now on, or that they at least deserve a happy ending… but that doesn’t happen.

Do I want to achieve that in my story? Eh, I’ve created many stories, and I’m a game master in various roleplay campaigns… So yeah, it really depends on the story. I don’t think this is necessarily needed, but it can be good in some cases.
Now, keep in mind some other huuuge punches to the gut I got and still remember as very traumatic were actually solved in a positive way. Like a character who died, but then came back to life for reasons. Sometimes, the trauma of the thing happening remains, even if a happy ending happens at the end. So yeah, I don’t necessarily think it has to end badly in order to leave a huge impression.

Yeah, obviously the reader has to be invested in the story though. But that goes for anything, right? I mean, you can write sweet romance, but a non-invested reader won’t root for the characters nor go “aaawww” over them.

I don’t think it’s necessarily a plot twist, but it can. In my example, the last of the punches, the big reveal, is a plot twist. But the other ones are not. Basically, it can overlap, but doesn’t have to.

I don’t know if that’s helpful or not, but well, these are my opinions.

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I have a 50 page document of writing advice from different novelists and game writers that deal with many aspects of craft. Consider looking through this for something that resonates with you:

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  1. tbh my long term memory is really bad, and I don’t tend to watch super intense action shows/movies but one of the things I remember is at the end of the anime movie “Weathering With You” suddenly there’s a time skip and the whole world is flooded…the directors just snapped their fingers and the city (tokyo? idr) was pretty much submerged LOL I was legitimately so confused and upset because there was no warning at all. Besides that, other good, basic examples would be betrayals, reveals of a villain or important character, or sudden deaths

  2. Personally, I think there’s two ways. 1) Shock factor or 2) Emotional climax.

explained
  • With shock factor, it’s obvious that what makes it stick/feel like a punch to the gut is that it’s sudden and unexpected. It leaves the audience reeling and questioning what just happened. To do this, just make sure your audience has no idea your dramatic betrayal/murder/death/reveal/timeskip is coming.

  • With an emotional climax, it’s more like you give hints about what’s to come, but keeping the audience on the edge of their seat…they know something is going to happen, but they don’t know when… And when you hit them with it it’s all the more impactful. (This could be linked to shock factor if you build up…but do the exact opposite of what the audience is expecting.)

Of course, both of these are 10x better when the audience is invested in the story/characters! You let your audience form that emotional bond and then destroy it !! mwahaHAHA

3/4. Depends on where you want your story to go, but yes, if it’s executed well and contributes to the story. Of course, these types of scenes are more common in action/drama/mystery genres, rather than slice of life/romance.

example

e.g. If you’re writing romance and know from the start you want your readers to despair, you kill off one or both of the LIs or have some other tragedy happen very suddenly, maybe after you’ve developed their relationship a bit :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: But if it’s a feel-good soulmate romance, you want them to get together in the end. Maybe some obstacles but nothing that makes the reader have a mini brain-implosion.

(However), if you have a punch-in-gut scene and the characters overcome it, I feel that it could greatly contribute to the development of the story (no matter the genre). But don’t go willy nilly martial arts on the audience’s guts just ‘cause; then it loses it’s effect and you could make some readers/viewers angry :’)
Basically, it needs to feel fulfilling to the story if you do it. It makes your story memorable and emotionally dynamic - you’re not letting your audience just passively sit there and absorb content, you’re making invoking emotion in them, which is one of the greatest powers of storytelling.

  1. Most of the time, yeah. If the audience isn’t paying attention or doesn’t care about your characters, then your big reveal that the villain is actually the protag’s best friend kind of flies over their heads. It’s also made irrelevant if the audience has no connection to the protag and/or doesn’t understand how deep and meaningful the protag-bff relationship is, because then they won’t understand why the reveal is so hurtful to the protag. In scope of the story, make your dramatic scene a big deal to the audience.

  2. No, not all plot twists have this “what the hell happened” feeling. Because maybe you’re watching a show where there’s only one human left in the world-- but wait plot twist!! there’s more humans somewhere else, or plot twist!! that one human is actually a robot. That doesn’t have the same explosive flavor as, say, an example where a group of main characters you love go to a lord’s party but then the lord flat out murders them all. See how one is like “oh that’s interesting, I want to know more” where the other is “…why did you just kill all my babies”

Hope that helped !! That’s just my take on the topic, anyways ^^

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My answers will be short because I’m not good at explaining things but
1, I think the most memorable has to be Commander Shepard’s death in ME3, mostly because I was soooo mad about it. I guess it depends on the type of author you want to be, killing an important character will be memorable, but your readers may not like you much after that. Mass Effect did this at the very end of their trilogy, so there wasn’t any way to rage-quit essentially. If you do this method, I think it’s a safe bet to say your readers might not want to continue reading your work lol
2, This actually doesn’t relate to my above point, but a very good piece of advice I was given was to bring some sense of normalcy to your game/writing. It gives readers a chance to form bonds with your characters or learn about the world. It creates breathing room for your readers to let their guard down before you shatter them.
3-4. Of course, I think every writer hopes they write something that evokes strong emotions from readers. I enjoy writing horror, so this is especially important for me, I also like torturing my characters
5, Like I said in point one, I think it’s pretty important for readers to be invested and care enough about the story/characters, otherwise I feel like if something tragic were to happen (and the reader isn’t invested) they’re just like, “wow wtf that sucks” and they either stop reading or just simply move on with the story. That being said, people love tropes, yes they’re predictable, but find the one(s) that readers like and they WILL become invested
6, Writing is complex in general, it’s a skill that gets developed over years of practice. The more you write, the more you’ll realize what elements fit the narrative you’re selling and which ones don’t. It’s really a matter of trial and error.

Hope that helped even a little! :heart:

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From Muv-Luv Alternative (or Extra?? I don’t exactly remember), when Takeru runs away from the alien mechs in the combat testing arena. Up until that point, it had been your typical otome VN, but that scene signaled that, “Hey, everything is real, so you better buckle yourself up for some more angst.”

And more angst it delivered. Alternative and Extra gave me more punches in the gut than any other VN has.

Well, I would be a total sociopath in this case. Lure the reader into some false sense of security and when they least expect it, go for it and go hard.

Not always, but yes, sometimes.

I just like torturing people’s emotions, I guess.

:upside_down_face:

Although not too much, since that’s boring and repetitive.

Yep.

Depends on you.

Twist for twist’s sake is no fun. It’s predictable and cliche. On the other hand, twist when you least expect it is something that I personally enjoy. Like what DDLC or Muv Luv pulled off.

Nope.

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Before you can do any of this, you need to first be able to identify the emotion that you want the reader to feel. Yes, of course all art is meant to create an emotional reaction, but good art creates a specific emotional reaction, not just whatever emotion happens to be handy. Ask yourself some hard questions about how you want the reader to feel. “Gut punch” is frankly not an emotion. I get that you want the reader to experience a strong reaction that creates a memorable game, but memorable for what?

  • “I want the reader to feel fear” means you’re writing horror. Now you need to think about how to create a monster or threat that speaks to people’s deep, primal fears.
  • “I want the reader to laugh” means you’re writing humor. Now you need to figure out what’s funny to you, and do that. Humor never works unless the writer finds it funny, too.
  • “I want the reader to go awww!” means you’re writing romance, or possibly drama. There are tons of tips around on writing good romance and creating lovable love interests. Romance is a very popular genre, so everyone has an opinion.
  • “I want the reader to feel sad” means you’re writing tragedy. Good news! Tragedy is a classic genre and there’s a formular for exactly how to get it right. Find your hero’s tragic flaw.
  • “I want the reader to feel angry” is… a revenge fantasy, I guess? The Count of Monte Cristo is a classic example.

You can get all sorts of stories by combining these together, but you still won’t get anywhere until you identify the emotion that you’re targeting.

As for the question of raising the stakes, I’ll link this podcast episode that explains it better than I could. It’s short and concise, and definitely worth a listen if you have 15-20 minutes to spare. No hour-long rambles. The gist of it is, raising the stakes is less about making the situation more dangerous or world-ending, more about making it more personal to the hero of the story. If you want that in even more concise: “A problem that a character can walk away from, is a book a reader can walk away from.”

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1- What are the punch in the guts of your brain that till this day you still remember how you felt when you saw/read/imagine that scene?

Hum, the best exemple would be in a game called Jade Empire . I recommand playing it to experience it first hand .

2- How you achieve that in a story?

well each person has it’s way to write, so it really depand on peoples and their writing styles . It can be called ‘‘The big reveal’’, but that also could be the ending . I call them ‘‘Surprises’’ cose you don’t see them coming . My way, is to pepper the story with hidden clues, and then create characters that point you to the wrong way :sweat_smile:

Their roles is to cast suspicion elsewhere, so the reader half way there is like ‘‘But I though…’’ lol .

3- Do you want to achieve that in your story?

I do all the time . It’s a bit addictive, as long as it doesn’t become redundant and know how to do it . After all, the more you repeat something, the more you create a pattern and a reader learn to see it, and there goes your surprise . So everytime, you have to reinvent yourself . It’s lot of work, but so worth it .

4- Why? /Why not?
Like I said, it add alot of suspense to the story. Keep them reading, make them think, ask questions . It isn’t just for shock values. If you do it just to shock your readers, then its a wasted opportunitie. The best games that had these, made you ask questions, made you wonder and you almost obsess over it. Now that’s good writing, cose it stay with you even after the game is over .

5- I guess this only happens when the reader is really invested on the story right?

Yes and no. That’s like saying only suspense seriouse stories can do that, and a comedy wouldn’t work. It’s all about the skill of the writer.

6- Am I over-thinking what is simply known as a plot twist or it is really a lot more complex?
I wouldn’t know, I aint an expert. I would say this, praticse make perfect and finding what work for you is the most important thing. How others do it, stressing over a small detail like this…you can only achieve it if you keep at it and make it work the way you see it .

Cose if you see it, the reader will as well .

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@Jayffel it seems you were really deep into the story to not realize how the things were gonna end. that shows the importance of how a well done immersion would impact the reaction of the reader.

@MadAdam You made me remember about the serie Marvel agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and how a character that was introduced since the first episode and came along with the rest helping and doing his job was actually an infiltrated Hydra agent, he was just there at the reach of everyone but no one knew, that was another punch in the guts I have received. Traition seems to be another flavor, I guess GoT also have a few of them that I can remember form the top of my head that also kind of still get stuck with me.

@Konoi I can see the punch on that example, but I guess that something so “plot twisted” like that could leave the reader with a bitter taste (it deppends on what emotion the writer would want to evoke on the reader)
Resurrected characters I think that was discussed somewhere on the forum. I guess that it has the risk of having the reader not be at all convinced if later on the story another character also dies, as it has happened before, they could resurrect and so the deaths won’t have such an impact as if there were gone for good.

@tangerine_skies Thanks for the resource, I’ll take a look when I manage to get some time.

@Aerin A lot great examples to learn from, Thanks

@iota Making relatable characters and getting the reader to get really attached to them, a really important thing to achieve to get the desired effect. Got it.

@moonfungus Pretty much like when Ned Stark is decapitated at the end of season one, that made a clear point to the reader that any s#it could happen here.

@Hazel aim for the right flavor of punch, good tip, Thanks for the podcast, and the phrase, something to have in mind when planning.

@E_RedMark I don’t play computer games since a really long time, but I’ll see to find that one out.
Bad routing characters to lead the reader to the trap, huh, you are clever…
I guess that it won’t become redundant for me at the speed I write :man_facepalming:

Thanks all of you for the help and good examples!

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Unless you use that for a punch.
Imagine one character dies and their companions manage to get them back to life, or something happens and they come back or whatever. As you said, the readers/public may go complacent about that, believing other characters who’d die would come back too. And well, the characters may think the same. If someone dies in the future though, the characters may try to use the same method, only to discover during whatever drama that happened, what would have allowed the resurrection was destroyed too. Or that it could have worked a single time or whatever, depending on the means of resurrection.
An alternate possibility would be that the character who died actually faked his death, or used some sort of trick to survive what should have been fatal / to come back from the dead. And they reassure the rest of the team about the fact they’ll always find a way to come back or have another trick in their sleeve. And then, it could happen a second time - they doing something so reckless and that would so obviously not make it possible for them to survive that the rest of the team would think they obviously will come back again… only to discover they actually didn’t have the means to do it a second time, and that they actually sacrificed themselves without any hesitation.

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Yes, but at least Game of Thrones didn’t give you PTSD while reading it. It made you feel bad, but nothing strong, at least not for me. The only time it hit me hard was during the Red Wedding.

Muv Luv, on the other hand…

A good example of this would be Fire Emblem : Awakening, even though Robin does come back.

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Oh dear… If they didn’t, I would have destroyed my 3DS :laughing:

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Hello there, I hope my answers would help. I should clarify that I’m not a writer, alright? So idk if my answers would help. And I apologize for the long post.

Thanks for this; I was uncertain where to begin, but your questions put myself into perspective here.

Are you familiar with the video game 11-11: Memories Retold? To avoid spoilers, there was a scene in the beginning which was seemingly unimportant… but the events of that scene were important during the game’s climax and ending. I’ll censor the plot details below. I didn’t play through this game, but I watched it in YouTube, I should clarify.

The story takes place during World War I, with the player controlling two characters: Canadian photographer Harry Lambert, who joins a Major in the Western Front as a war photographer to gain the affection of his love interest; and German engineer Kurt Waldner, who initially works on making zeppelins but applies as a combat engineer upon receiving news that his son, Max, is missing in action, in an attempt to find him. The both of them then cross paths throughout the game, despite being on opposite sides. The timeline of the game is like a countdown timer to the date and time of the armistice during WW1.

Here’s the beginning scene: upon arrival at the front, at Vimy, the Major has Harry take pictures of the camp, the soldiers, and some prisoners and war, one of whom was very obstinate and uncooperative. The Major has Harry take a picture of the former while pointing a revolver at that POW; the Major then orders Harry to leave. A gunshot is then heard.

Meanwhile, Kurt is assigned to a location directly opposite Harry’s. The Canadians, led by the Major, launch an assault on the German position; during the battle, Harry falls into a hole created by an artillery shell into the German underground trenches, falling into a rifle-armed Kurt. Kurt gets distracted by a pigeon being chased by a cat and doesn’t shoot Harry, who then tackles Kurt seconds before an artillery shell hits them both. They’re both stuck underground, have difficulties communicating due to language barriers (to introduce themselves, Harry gives Kurt an envelope addressed to Harry and points at his name; Kurt recipricates), but work together and escape back to their respective sides. The pigeon then sticks with Harry, the cat with Kurt.

After a few months, both characters are assigned to the same place again. The Major orders Harry to get some documents. Harry send the pigeon, who somehow finds Kurt and delivers the documents to him. This alienates the Major. Meanwhile, Kurt discovers that Max’s unit were wiped out in battle; he reaches the place where their dead soldiers were buried, and even digs an unmarked grave, but fails to find Max’s body. He then heads to no man’s land and looks at the bodies to find Max; he also fails, but he finds the bodies of some of his neighbors (who also joined with Max). He unfortunately doesn’t find Max.

Both characters are then, again, reassigned to the same location; at this point, the Major orders an assault. Harry finds himself in a church within the German lines, just beyond the Canadian lines. He is discovered by Kurt, who tries to distract his fellow Germans from finding Harry. Unfortunately, Harry is found and is almost killed; Kurt protests that Harry is unarmed and should not be shot. Harry is taken as a prisoner of war. Kurt is granted leave and returns to his family.

Harry then discovers that he is to be transferred. He remembers Kurt’s envelope, and forges his transfer order to head to Kurt. Kurt welcomes him, and Harry helps out around Kurt’s house. Kurt builds Harry a hot air balloon, as the former plans on having Harry use it to get to Canada. Harry then receives a letter from the Major, who asks for forgiveness from Harry, and offers to send Harry back to Canada, as long as he can head to the Major’s location.

This is the climax: Kurt accidentally sees Harry’s photos, including a photo with a Canadian officer (the Major) aiming a gun at a German POW. This POW is then revealed to be Max. Shocked and hurt at this apparant betrayal, Kurt then angrily returns back to the front with the picture and tries to hunt down the officer in the picture. He then discovers the Major’s location, and heads there. Meanwhile, Harry completes the baloon, takes a rifle with him, and flies away.

The ending: with only hours before the armistice is in effect, Harry thinks whether or not to just head straight to Canada, or seek out the Major first, knowing that Kurt is on that path. The player chooses what choice Harry makes. Meanwhile, Kurt finds the Major and fights him; Kurt gets the Major’s revolver, but a group of Canadian riflemen arrive. A rifle-armed Harry then optionally arrives, depending on the player. With less than a minute left before the armistice, the player then chooses the fates of Harry, of Kurt, and the Major. This could result in the potential deaths of any of the three characters or a combination thereof; the countdown then reaches zero, which makes the armistice official, ending hostilities.

That’s the top example I can think of; the seemingly inconsequential details turned out to be very important! This scene sticks in mind because of that. Who would’ve known that a simple picture would be so crucial, or that a countdown only adds to the tension, eh?

I’m not sure. As I said, I’m not a writer. I guess… just have a detail important to your plot, but make it seem small at the start?

If I ever write, then yes,

It hooks the reader to the story, of course!

Perhaps. Because you, as a reader, have to stick to the story to see how it all plays out.

Maybe? Of course, it could also be possible that the readers are underthinking seemingly trivial aspects.

I’m sorry, but no. That means that you’re male; you see, I’m a male heterosexual. I’m afraid you are incompatible with my sexual orientation. Additionally, even if you were, I don’t have the time, nor the inclination, for that sort of thing.

Anyway, maybe use a small, trivial thing which will later become important to the plot? Or maybe something unexpected? Or another character doing something we didn’t expect?

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Yes, it could be managed some other way without allowing for a second chance or faking deaths, though maybe for me it seems to be already overly used on some places, like in the arrow tv series where pretty much the entire cast dies at some point and then somehow returns whether by being resurrected, teleported, multiverse, time travel, they pretty much just invented something to bring them back to the point of stop being shocking and you just started to think, “oh here we go again, I wonder how they would bring him/her back this time”. But yeah, the DC universe has a lot of means to do that I guess.

@moonfungus Yes, maybe it wasn’t so traumatic but I was bringing that example as a setting point for how things can end up being in that world, it marks the before and after of a common series with “immortal” main characters to, well, if the MC screws it… he’s gone for good

@NJG Really nice example, a seemingly insignificant thing at the beginning that closes the circle at the end, another flavor besides the deaths of important characters and surprises, and another difference here was that the “clue” was just at plain sight, at least for the reader.

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True, true. In a way, GRRM was basically telling us, “Hey, the King’s best friend died by the orders of his friend’s son, so nobody’s safe, even if they’re, you know, the chosen one”.

Plus, let’s face it, when Sean Bean played the character, everyone (even those who didn’t read the books) knew that he was a dead man walking :grin: The only thing that was a surprise is that how quickly that occurred.

That was the smoothest rejection I’ve ever heard. Kudos to you :+1:

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Jajaja yes, somehow we knew, but taking the actor aside, maybe it would have had even more impact.

Yeah, I’m already used to it jaja, so no hard feelings, besides I’m male hetero too, I’ll clarify so there’s no confusion, sorry.

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1.1. Put full stop punctuations when numbering things
1.2. Make a throaway but make a sly choice of either; A. She’s a made lady. B. She was the leader- etc
2. Stated above
3. Maybe
4. Well, why the hell not
5. Yep, spot on correct
6. You’re not overthinking it, its natural when experimenting with twisting stories
7. Laughs in Bisexual