This is one of my pet peeves as a reader, when an author doesn’t trust the readers intelligence and must make sure you don’t miss any important plot points. I remember it very clearly in one of Dan Browns books. I can’t remember which one as he is not an author I like to go back and re-read. His hero is in a science facility and the scientist demonstrates that even a small piece of cloth will arrest your speed enough to save your life if falling from a great height. The book then has the line ‘This piece of information saved his live a few weeks later.’ Or something very similar. Then lo and behold, a few weeks later he is thrown from a plane and use his jacket like a parachute which saves his life. Now why could Dan Brown not trust his readers to make that connection without making it blindingly obvious? For me it takes the fun out of reading.
A good author should drop these snippets of info in that become relevant later on. Let the reader remember and have one of those ‘oh!’ moments. The master of this, in my opinion, is JK Rowling (I bet you didn’t see that coming, me praising JK Rowling!) She has dropped snippets of info in her first book that don’t become important until the seventh. Now these books are aimed and children and slightly obsessive adults. If they can be trusted to make the connections, then why can’t an adult reader?
In my own book I have tried the same, dropping in bits of info some for the first book, others that will make sense later on in the series. I have to confess I have found myself sneaking in the odd sign post. That little voice that always says;
‘What if they don’t notice it? The plot makes no sense with out it.’
I have deleted the ones I found and made myself trust my reader (In my case it might just be one!). My advice is do the same trust your reader they might not be as thick as you think.
Any one have a different view on signposting plot point? Be brave speak up, I promise to be nice.