In my book Play Dead, I hinted at something that had happened to one of the homicide detectives. We knew he was on medication, knew he had a drinking problem, and we knew he'd been sent to Savannah to start fresh. But I didn’t reveal exactly what had happened to him until maybe the halfway mark.
But you can wait too long. If you wait too long, the reader becomes impatient and annoyed. You keep dropping these tantalizing hints, but the payoff comes too late. The reader is already annoyed. So annoyed that she might not even care anymore. Someone who often waits too long for the payoff is Joss Whedon. IMO. Love him, but the payoff comes after the annoyance hits. You’re engaging us, and we’re following you, but you can’t keep slamming the door. And once our annoyance is engaged, the payoff and satisfaction isn’t as strong. And sometime we actually forget what the question was in the first place. Oh, yeah. I remember being really curious about that in episode one. And episode two. And episode three. But episode eight? Not so much. Which reminds, me, you might need to remind the reader at well-placed intervals (part of pacing). But anyway, rambling here. Again. Every story should have questions that keep the reader turning the page.
What is this about?