An aye-write Quick Guide to Foreshadowing!
Foreshadowing - a warning or indication of a future event. In literature, it is when an author provides readers with hints or suggestions as to what will happen later in the story.
Foreshadowing can be used to create tension and set expectations as to how the story will play out. Can inspire reader emotions–suspense, unease, curiosity.
Types of Foreshadowing
The author states something that they want you to be aware of for the future - in the eponymous example, a gun hanging on the wall in an early chapter will be used later.
A statement to character/ reader about what will happen in the future. Although sometimes unclear at first, they normally become true by the end.
A more abstract way of foreshadowing, often shown through things like objects, animals, images and weather. Often foreshadows change in mood, luck or behaviour.
When the author needs the reader to know something that happened that doesn’t fit with the current timeline. Often there will be hints/clues for things that the writer wants you to remember/pick up on later.
A type of foreshadowing that deliberately misleads the reader. False clues such as a character finding another suspicious, etc., may lead you to believe one thing when, in reality, they will have done nothing wrong
My Tips and Tricks for Effective Foreshadowing!
- Don’t foreshadow too obviously - signpost rather than state! Arouse suspicion, but keep them guessing!
- If you make a promise, keep it!
- The bigger the twist, the earlier it should be foreshadowed! Foreshadowing too late is essentially a spoiler
- Keep foreshadowing in moderation
- Use beta-readers - sometimes our foreshadowing feels so obvious to us but it may not to other people who aren’t as close!