Chekov's Gun: I've already touched on this one. Chekov's gun is carefully placing details early in a story. And then using them.
When misdone, the gun is left unfired. The readers want to shoot it. They get itchy trigger fingers.
Red hearing: No, not Cod.
I find this one amusing. Basically, a red herring distracts from what is important.
I had a great conversation with Randy and a few friends a month or so ago. Certainly, as many readers and friends know, I've read too many Taylor Caldwell books, and without getting too political, I asked those present if it might be possible if Donald Trump might be a red herring.
I wasn't serious. In my mind, I imagine a Taylor Caldwell novel with a great political mind who hires someone, like Donald Trump, to inspire and anger the American people. In this imaginary novel, the people become united.
And vote for someone else.
See The Devil's Advocate for a rousing example of how this might work in fiction.
Funny, we list a red herring as a plot flaw, an unnecessary distraction, but when done well, a red herring can be a catalyzing event.
Randy and our friends found our literary take on politics amusing. Then boring. Then they moved on to discuss other political issues.