Illusion in Our Writing

Check out this amazing optical illusion.

Did you guess how he managed to pull it off before the big reveal?

Sometimes we need to use illusions in our writing and it isn’t always easy.  In the original draft of my fantasy novel, something was too “out of the blue” in spite of my foreshadowing.

So I reworked it.

Now?  Too obvious.  Everyone figured it out from the start.  Back to the drawing board.

Here are some of the online pieces that I found on foreshadowing.

My problem is that I need to make something less obvious.  One suggestion was to foreshadow things that don’t happen, something like red herrings in a mystery.  But this is in the first 20 pages of the novel.  How many red herrings can I have in that short space?

No answers yet.  Just scads of questions.