So I’ve called this meta-knowledge/metagaming because I don’t know the literary term for it. First, I will provide a definition of metagaming for those unfamiliar…
“Metagaming is a term used in role-playing games, which describes a player’s use of real-life knowledge concerning the state of the game to determine their character’s actions, when said character has no relevant knowledge or awareness under the circumstances. This can refer to plot information in the game such as secrets or events occurring away from the character, as well as facets of the game’s mechanics such as abstract statistics or the precise limits of abilities. Metagaming is an example of “breaking character”, as the character is making decisions based on information they could not know and thus would not make in reality.” - Wikipedia circa 900 Anno Domini, colorized
So without being vague and withholding information from the reader (please make the distinction between the reader and the character as they are seperate entities) that would make something appear bland, how do you give the reader a generalized understanding of what’s happening while being secretive enough that the dynamic can potentially change on different playthroughs?
One example could be the assassination of a king. There is, in an assassination, ultimately a murderer involved or a coup. However, if we leave too much evidence it points at a single person. The goal here is to blur the lines so it could be any potential person and the evidence can potentially changed based on playthroughs to implicate one person or another. HOWEVER! Any good plot needs an eventual “this happened” with X being who our murderer is and Y being how they did it (probably easily established on the latter even despite multiple avenues of evidence).
Sorry if this is very vaguely worded. Having trouble articulating this concept. In a nutshell; how do we give the readers a clue enough to form a hunch on but without enough information that it’s merely a hunch while simultaneously being interesting?