I've been published since 2009 but I've been writing for a lot longer. Over the years I've accumulated various items of wisdom from all over. Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit will showcase these items one at a time in no particular order.
Set up an expectation--and then twist it.
We've all heard of ways to surprise or engage the reader. Make it a question, make it matter more to the point of view character, make it a confrontation.
Here's something that I think is new. The author has control, not only over the twist, but over the expectation. That's right. So often we think we have to be clever coming up with a new twist. Sometimes it's easier to work backwards. Decide on the thing you want to have happen--then start your characters out wanting the opposite or something different, or have them have to work to get there.