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When you reveal your monster-be it a nefarious villain, a psychological nightmare, or a real monster with teeth, claws, and a taste for human flesh, or anything in between-how do you like to do it?

Do you let the reader know right off the bat who or what they're dealing with?

Do you "show a little" here and there, giving strong hints as to what might be lurking in the pages of your book?

Or do you wait until a particular point in the book and hit the reader between the eyes with the antagonist all at once?

And... when you're reading, which one do you prefer?

I'm curious to know whether or not this is dependent on genre as well, whether or not it makes a difference as to whether or not different genres prefer different introductions to the evil antagonist.  It would be interesting to see how somebody reading a Janet Evanovich or Agatha Christie novel prefers the villian to be introduced vs. the preference of somebody who is reading horror from Stephen King or Dean Koontz.
 

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Ooooooh monsters! I've only written one so far, and just thinking about it gives me a little chill.

There were actually two monsters, with one being a human. For the beastly thing, it's not revealed until the final climactic fight scene. Up until then, its physicality is never described, but the MC hears it a few times and witnesses some destruction.

SO MUCH FUN! EEEE monsterssss!
 

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I think it depends a lot on the effect you're going for, which will depend a lot on the genre you're writing. If you're writing horror, you'd probably want to show less, because the reader's imagination can fill in the blanks and scare them more than if you spell it all out. Suspense would likely call for revealing more, so the reader knows how badly outmatched the protagonist is. If you're going for mystery, it would probably make sense to just drop hints, and not show the monster at all until the end.
 

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My first inclination is to say "quickly, while her back is turned" . . .

But on a more serious note, I have bad guys in every story. The method of the reveal varies from up front "that's who did it" to a slow intro to a bunch of likely suspects, and the "ah-ha" at the end.

Different methods work better for different stories. Sometimes I want to highlight the mental state of my MC and the reaction to the crimes is what matters. Others I want to string out the mystery of the plot.
 

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I think it all depends upon the type of "monster" that your heroes and plotline are comfortable dealing with.

If the "monster" is a massive, sentient city maintenance computer that has somehow gained sentience and is now trying to kill everyone inside of it, then perhaps slowly, as the "beast" bides its time by eliminating citizens that it deems threatening.

However, if the "monster" is in fact a slumbering dragon (or massive turtle) at the bottom of the ocean, upon which the main continent formed on top of, well, then it could be baked-in to your world's mythology. Like, everyone has heard of it, but nobody actually believes it, or at least actually thinks it exists.

Of course, if your "monster" is merely an ice-cold, high-class hitman, maybe you could accent the finer things in his life, the crisp cut of his clothes, the polished chrome of his guns, the ageless elegance in which he carries himself between murders.
 

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I love monsters. Almost everything I write has monsters in it.  I write horror, fantasy and sci-fi. It all depends on how the monster fits into the that world, the nature of the plot and the type of story I'm telling.

In most of my fantasy stories, the monsters are sometimes introduced right away as my main villain so the reader can see what my heroes are up against. Although in my most recent fantasy I didn't reveal the villains until a bit into the first half of the story to build some suspense, since the villains came from a land that was thought to be a myth and was uncharted by the people of the story.

In my horror I slowly give glimpses of the creature or villain, bit by bit, building to a big reveal to keep suspense going. It's not usually about who the villain is if it's an actual monster, no mystery really, no whodunit, because the humans are the prey.
However if the story I'm writing is a mystery thriller where it's a human monster, I may hide the identity of that person for the whole story or reveal it to certain characters but no the reader. That is a role reversal to keep the reader guess until the big reveal.

All have their merit in genre writing. That's the beauty of horror and fantasy, you can create any monster, describe a little or a lot, reveal up front or at the end, it can all work, depending on your technique, the result you're looking for or the type of book/plot it is.
 

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My Demons series had a lot of 'monsters' and villains, and I personally liked to bring it in as a twist. I put some very subtle hints throughout, but I get a lot of people who leave comments and reviews about how they never guessed it was this villain or the truth about a certain character, etc. There's at least one or two in each book in the series.

Typically, I think I like to create questions in the reader's mind, lead them down a certain path and then BLAM! Smack them with the truth when they least expect it. I'm not sure how effective I am most of the time, but that's the way I like it in both books and movies, so that's the way I like to write it!
 
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