I was curious on this topic. When it comes to fanfic with surprising moments, how much foreshadowing do you want? Obviously you want enough that something doesn't come out of left field, but also not so much that your hand is tipped. I was thinking on this, and I actually think this is harder to manage in fanfic then in original fiction. In a book off the shelf, all you have to do is make sure that your plot twist 'makes sense' so to speak. So for example, who are Jon Snow's parents in ASOIAF? When it is revealed if the reader goes "ohh, that makes sense" you are set. In a lot of fanfic though.. its not enough that it makes sense because you are dealing with pre-convcieved expectations. For example, if i'm writing a fanfict of Harry sorted into Slytherin... and he dies this time in his confrontation with Voldemort in book 4. Its not enough to go "well that makes sense. Voldemort is very skilled. Harry really got lucky in the books after all." Sure Harry dying could make 'sense' if we rationally dissect it. But you as the author need to lay some ground work because folks have expectations in fanfic. And how much is enough? For example, if your Harry say... is a bit cowardly and you show that by having him run for cover in the dueling club in book 2... is that enough foreshadowing to have him try to run from Voldemort rather than fight back (and thus die?) in book 4? Or would you want some more blatant foreshadowing like say... he picks out a different want in book 1? And when is it too much? Like if every chapter you had Harry moaning about how he sucks in duels that would be TOO heavy of a hand. I guess what I wonder is with major changes or surprise plot twists in fanfic, is it enough that it can be explained as "ohh that could make sense" or do you need to actually lay deliberate foreshadowing ground work? How do you all do it in your own work? Or in your experience any advice you've seen on how authors walk the line between giving hints in their work so something makes sense without being heavy handed? Any fics you think have handled this balance particularly well?