An even thousand words left in the scene tonight, and I’ve rounded the corner on the tension. I’ve introduced the twist — the thing that has to change in a scene — but have done so casually, so that the apparent change will lead the reader astray. That is coming up in the next hundred words, and it’s big enough and loud enough that if I’ve done it right, the reader will register the real change, but not consciously recognize it for what it is until I expose the red herring … also real … as a side show.
The tough thing about making this work is that both changes have to be real, but the important one has to seem less important than the secondary one. Agatha Christie sometimes did a breathtaking job of playing around with the perceived weight of information. Sometimes, of course, she just cheated. I don’t want to cheat.