Awesome post on misdirection! Have to share! Hope you wild and woolly wordsmiths enjoy Nail Your Novel’s post as much as I did!
One literary example of the same thing for all you Harry Potter fans would be Sirius’ motorcycle. Hagrid has it in book one. He tells Dumbledore ‘Sirius leant it to me.’ Not until book three do you find the significance of the fact that Sirius was in Godric’s Hollow the night James and Lily were murdered.
I’ve had an interesting question from Jonathan McKenna Moore (who was one of this blog’s earliest readers – quick fanfare 🙂 ).
Jonathan had seen Anthony Horowitz talk about writing new Sherlock Holmes stories, which led him to ask this question:
‘How does misdirection work in prose? Horowitz says that one of the functions of Dr Watson is misdirection, following false trails that Holmes would never entertain, and lulling the reader into considering them. He goes on to describe misdirection as drawing attention to one object in the room so the audience doesn’t notice another. While I can understand how that would work in a film, in prose you have to go out of your way to mention object 2, and spend time describing it. It isn’t just set dressing. How do you show the reader something, without letting them know that it’s important? Is it just a case of losing…
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