The Art Of Subtlety: How To Add Hints To Your Writing

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Giving subtle hints to your readers is the part they will adore the most when reading your novel. They love putting the pieces of the puzzle together and pretending they found the hints themselves. Why not give them this chance to have fun solving puzzles?

Giving subtle hints to your readers is the part they will adore the most when reading your novel. They love putting the pieces of the puzzle together and pretending they found the hints themselves. Why not give them this chance to have fun solving puzzles? We, writers, need to learn how to become more subtle in novels and leave your readers a possibility to choose and make decisions by themselves. Subtlety is not the easiest quality to achieve, but with our recommendations, you can make a step forward to enhance your writing and turn your writing into a masterpiece.

How do the hints work in your writing?

What do your readers want to find in your novel? What do you want them to find there? Answers to these questions predetermine the hints you use in your writing. Your hints may lead your readers to some solutions, and they also may misguide them. For detective writers, the second type of hints is better. Besides, this is a type of hints that helps to avoid predictability.

These are just basic types of hints. If you want to enhance your writing, dig deeper. Physical hints, verbal hints, and thematic hints make your plot twisted and keep the attention of your readers. For example, use dialogues for verbal hints. Your character can tell more with the proper choice of words that have some particular meanings. Try the word-play, it can hide some secret meaning which will be revealed later on. Thematic hints should lay the basis for your writing. Use images and biases to make your character speak. A woman in a white dress seems to be innocent; a woman in a red dress is passionate. You can use them to misguide your reader from the obvious conclusion.

Create an emotional journey of your characters

Unlike outer journeys that show character’s adventures, it is also important to show how emotionally overwhelmed they are in their own world. The reader should feel the inner state of the character. It can either evolve from the outer journey or from deeper inner emotions. By outer journey, we mean such adventures as, for example, escaping from the castle or fighting someone. The spiritual journey can be, let’s say, character’s deep desire to prove something to the world or find true love. When the author learns how to combine inner and outer journeys and place hints, it will be possible to achieve real subtlety in a novel.

Both outer and inner journeys are crucial for keeping your reader attracted. Hints functions can help you take your reader into these journeys reaching the highest emotional tension.

  • Hints add new meanings to a journey.

  • Hints allow your readers to choose.

  • Hints make your readers think.

Be logical with the interaction of your plot and hints

Mystery genre can teach the writers of other genres a lot. Here, readers should follow the hints in a specified order. All the clues should be subtle and appear surprisingly in the text at right moments. Keep your style mysterious and surprise your readers with every hint you give them. Map your hints logically across the novel. If your hints do not make sense, avoid them.

Also, remember that hints should cover the whole novel up to the culmination (the moment when everything will never be the same in your story). After the culmination, hints overload your writing with unnecessary double-meanings. However, if you want to create an effect of open-end, use the hints.

Don’t let the tension disappear till the very end

You need to keep readers alert all the time. They shouldn’t feel like they want to skip the whole chapter because it’s boring and different from the rest. The tension needs to grow, not get weaker. Invent characters who seemingly look good to the reader and no one can even think about their malicious intentions. Avoid things that are overly complicated and don’t be unfair towards your readers. You can mislead your readers but you can’t tell them the bald lie. Develop your plot in such a way it is logically structured.

The tension is critical in novel writing. Otherwise, the reader will have all the reasons to close the book and leave it for “never” to finish.

To sum up, we highlight that hints can make your writing subtle, but they also can destroy your plot. Before you start to consider using hints, make sure that you have worked on the plot. If hints interrupt them, mix up introduction and culmination, it is better to try some other methods to enhance your writing.

 

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