Introduce major plot elements in an off-hand manner

As the wailing of sirens got louder, Claire and Pete hunched over the glowing computer screen. Pete swallowed nervously.
‘What now?’ he said.
‘Well, now we disarm the missiles.’ Claire flexed her fingers. ‘I didn’t tell you this before, but in my spare time, I’m a skilled computer hacker. I’m sure I can crack these defence codes.’
‘Excellent,’ said Pete. ‘I’ll use my extensive jujitsu training to hold off the guards if they come through the door, which we were unable to lock behind us because the key broke off in the lock, which I forgot to mention at the time, but it did.’
‘I’m in!’ said Claire. ’The password was the middle name of the shadowy CEO of Cryptotech, who incidentally is secretly my father.’


  1. 'Really?' said Pete. 'He's secretly my father, too, so I guess that means we're secretly long-lost siblings.'

  2. Hey, I remember that Digital Fortress paragraph!

  3. I knew I had read this somewhere.

    Great site, by the way. My 101 classes love it.

  4. This happens all the time though. Like on Star Trek. And I love Star Trek for it.

  5. Dear sir,

    I find myself admiring and intrigued by the advices you are furnishing here; also by their ready application to my ongoing analysis of the cultural side-effects of the works of Clive Cussler, Dan Brown and Matthew Reilly, appearing as they do on my blog "The Thriller in a Manila".

    However, I confess to a growing concern regarding these same advices' apparent convergence with my own creative output. One must be careful about whose toes upon one treads. I trust we understand each other.

    Wrmst rgrds,


  6. Dear Cliff,

    Many thanks for the threatening letter. Having now had a chance to read your blog, I can confirm that I find large swathes of it incomprehensible and the parts I do understand, I lack the skill to counterfeit.

    This is, of course, exactly the kind of thing that I look for in my reading material and I shall follow your work with interest.

    I remain, sir, your most humble servant,

  7. Lol @ Cliff. Murkage.