Red herring is the art of subtle clues

Author of the article: Tatiana Zhakova
Journalist, linguist, teacher of storytelling with 10 years of experience
In 2015, she created and promoted her project about Nizhny Novgorod, after which she created the author's course "Storytelling: How to Tell Your Story" on its basis. More than 4,000 students have taken the course.

A linguist by training, she is very quick to master new fields. Now she is actively studying screenwriting and storytelling in films/series, about which she writes in the blog of her project.
Red herring is a tactic used in storytelling that directs the viewer's or reader's attention to false information or a character to distract from the main plot or events.

Examples of red herring include deliberately false clues in a detective novel, incorrect guesses about the source of danger in a horror movie, or deliberately misleading the viewer in a thriller. All of these are done to create an added element of surprise and suspense in the story.

One example of red herring can be seen in the movie The Truman Show. In this movie, the main character Truman Burbank begins to suspect that his life is part of a television reality show, and tries to make sure of it. Over the course of the movie, the viewer's attention is directed to various characters and events that may indicate that his suspicions are true. However, it eventually turns out that these were all false trails, and the true reveal takes place in an unexpected place.
Another example of red herring can be found in the novel The Murder of Roger Aykroyd by Agatha Christie. In this novel, the main character, Detective Hercule Poirot, is investigating the murder of Roger Aykroyd, the owner of the house in which he lives. Over the course of the story, Poirot turns his attention to various characters who may be the murderer. However, it is eventually revealed that this was a false trail, and the murderer turns out to be a completely different character that no one suspected.

Thus, red herring is a powerful tool in storytelling to create surprise and suspense in a story, but it can also be used poorly and lead to frustration for the viewer if the added element of surprise is not convincing enough or does not fit the main story.