Stories need to earn their surprises. There is very little I find more frustrating than a story that throws you a (usually concluding) plot point or major piece of information that comes right out of left field. Left field is bad, folks. But in thinking about the difference between something coming out of left field and a solid surprise, I’m at pains to say exactly what it is. So, I figured, I might as well blog about it and see if someone smarter at this stuff than I am wants to chime in. Follow me through the element of surprise!