Another week over – It’s so sad.
No matter what the size of the story, plots can be complex but it is very off putting when we consider a story to be contrived.
Acceptable complex to contrived is separated by a bit of insecurity. Trust your readers, you do not need to baby them. Have the confidence to reveal without having to leave clues. Clues are a different medium, they are for being spotted, not read.
I think it’s all to do with flow. If you’re writing and your plot unravels naturally, then you have got it right. If you constantly change a story to fit the plot then that is maybe what comes across as contrived.