Hi, friends! Quick, informal poll/discussion today.
In one of my story ideas, the Main Character (MC) and the Bad Guy (BG) are both trying to get the One Thing (OT). The stakes are high, the tension is high, the setting is prime, everything is moving along nicely.
Okay, so what if a 3rd party comes in and pulls a "Bait n' Switch" on both the MC and BG, replacing the OT with a decoy? MC and BG still work to achieve their goals and all seems lost when BG "wins." But in the end, the BG realizes they've been duped and the MC realizes it was all a really long con this whole time, and they can still get the OT. MC isn't necessarily happy with this turn of events, but at least BG doesn't win.
There's more to this idea than the few sentences above, but you get the point. Is this "Bait n' Switch" idea too Oceans Elevens-y? Is it too easy for the reader to pick up on?
Overdone? Or can be used, if done right?