Crafting an Invitation to Think
Foreshadowing: signaling an outcome of chapter eight in the middle of chapter one, i.e. the original spoiler. Although, akin to the mean-spirited handiwork of a Reddit troll, welded gracefully, foreshadowing helps an author build tension, introduce indirection, and drive home a butterfly-inducing denouement.
In non-fiction, we are afforded a similar device: we can build a compelling narrative or stack ever increasing layers of complexity onto a topic to help elevate our reader to a plane of inevitability. At this point, we want our readers to say, “Ah! Yes! This is so obvious!”
If we over-articulate the point, however, our audience disengages; like continually begging a friend to show up to your (virtual) party after they’ve already said yes. We want to posit an idea just enough to engage a reader’s curiosity and compel them to have thoughts of their own—the aim is to craft an invitation to think.