I would love to ask my readers a question. What do you think of stories that are predictable?
I have watched many TV shows and have read dozens of books that fit this category. Just a few moments into the storyline and I already have the ending figured out. I have even answered all of my questions regarding characters I have just met. I feel bad for the author in these scenarios, because usually I close the book and never pick it back up, or I change the TV station.
How do you make your story not predictable? How do you disguise your storyline in such a way that your readers cannot unlock every hidden meaning ten pages in, but instead are interested enough to find out the ending, because they decided to turn that last page.
Experience in life makes this difficult, because so many events are so similar. I've read this before, seen this before, or my best friend went through this--the list goes on. Where is the mystery?
I want to hear what you think. What elements within a story keep you engaged?