What is foreshadowing, and would you want to use it?
Foreshadowing is the popular way many authors give the reader an advance hint of what is to happen later in the story. There are numerous ways to use foreshadowing. One way is to have a lesser character foreshadow an event —or, use it during a conversation between characters. Many writers find it a great addition to the plot, adding suspense, and expectations of what is to come. Mystery authors use it by implying that one character is acting suspiciously, when, in reality, another committed the crime.
Some authors like to give an early warning at the beginning of the novel. Others use it as major events unfold throughout the novel. There are examples of foreshadowing in the “HARRY POTTER” novels like students hearing something in the walls, preceding a monster they discover later. To foreshadow an event, you could mention it by name with a warning that something is going to happen.
Examples of Foreshadowing:
“LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD”- told not to stop on her way to grandma’s house.
“STAR WARS, DARTH VADAR’S”- shadow is behind Anakin, foreshadowing who Anakin will grow up to be.
“PETER RABBIT”- told by Mrs. Rabbit not to go into Mr. MacGregor’s garden. He does and gets in trouble.
EVERYDAY PHRASES: “Curiosity killed the cat.” —for-tells misfortune.
“It was a dark and stormy night”— for-tells an unfortunate event that will occur later.
Other ways to Foreshadow:
Language can create a visual picture of what to expect.
A contradiction between what is expected and what actually happens.
One I particularly like is a Flashback, telling something that happened in the past— as a clue about what might happen later in the story. You could plant little clues throughout the story hinting the story’s outcome. For authors who outline, you could add foreshadowing or a flashback to your outline. For those who do not, and that includes myself foreshadow or flashback can be inserted as you write.