Questions tagged [foreshadowing]

This tag should be used for questions that deal with foreshadowing in your own literary work, such as questions about common techniques to show the reader that something will happen or questions about finding resources that help in getting an idea phrases that could help you to foreshadow an event.

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Is it ok to introduce something in a flashback if you forgot to introduce or foreshadow it before?

Let's say you make your character use a special magic wand to kill his opponent, but you forgot to mention and describe what the wand was, can you do a flashback as soon as your character brandishes ...
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1 vote
2 answers
119 views

How can I signal the promise of action, when the start of the novel does not contain action?

The story I am aiming to write has someone thrown into action. However, that is not how they start off at the beginning. I definitely want to show someone whose bitten off more than they can chew, but ...
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2 votes
3 answers
736 views

Under-the-radar Feelings

So I have this idea for two girls that ultimately are going to get into a relationship. One of them is proudly gay and open about her feelings from the start, cracking jokes and sly compliments about ...
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13 votes
5 answers
2k views

How to foreshadow to avoid a 'deus ex machina'-construction

The plot in my story revolves around a certain ability of the MC that is normally not available, unless the circumstances are just right. Therefore, it is not mentioned in the story as a solution to ...
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3 votes
5 answers
239 views

Opening chapter foreshadowing or not?

In my story, a homicide takes place. I want to describe this homicide at the start of the story, through the eyes of the victim, to foreshadow what's about to come. But victim and suspect are both ...
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8 votes
3 answers
429 views

What is a good way to foreshadow that magic is actually very advanced technology?

In a story I'm working on, humanity had sometime in the past reached a very advanced technological level (far higher than ours), but then had a devastating global war, and afterwards technology had ...
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  • 4,007
6 votes
3 answers
380 views

What are techniques for romantic subtext in a first-person novel?

In a first-person narrative, how do you effectively make it clear to the reader that a second character likes your protagonist, before it dawns on the protagonist herself?
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7 votes
4 answers
930 views

Should foreshadowing be close to the main event?

This question is a followup to my earlier question. Continuing the dialog with my one critic, I wrote back that I believed that certain "foreshadowing" was necessary. Then I added something like, "...
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10 votes
6 answers
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How do I make "foreshadowing" more relevant in the early going?

Here is the latest version of this question, except that I believe that I have identified a key issue. Someone who read Chapters 1-3 of one of my novels (and then stopped), asked me, "why is there a ...
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11 votes
7 answers
690 views

How to demonstrate an evolution of magic without it seeming like it is improvised?

I'm writing a fantasy novel, in which the story progresses over a number of years. Throughout the story, I want to display an evolution of the magic, much like technology evolves in our world. The ...
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13 votes
5 answers
6k views

What to avoid when foreshadowing a death?

If, for example, I plan for a character to die in the middle of the story, and let's say I'd like to foreshadow his death by dropping a few hints here and there, what should I avoid when dropping ...
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1 vote
2 answers
188 views

How does an author determine how much foreshadowing is needed?

I am working on a screenplay where the opening scene is that a woman has lost 20 years of relative age because of a "time machine" dynamic. Then the play "flashes back" to a different time, where a ...
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3 votes
3 answers
2k views

When having a plot twist, does there have to be foreshadowing of it?

Can it just pop out of nowhere, or does it have to be something that was slightly mentioned before that only expert readers would catch?
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4 votes
2 answers
439 views

How can I structure a novel to contain short stories?

I'm planning a novel where the protagonist is an author and regularly writes short stories and shares them with other characters. I see this as a great opportunity to break out of the narrative and ...
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12 votes
8 answers
2k views

Why do heroes need to have a physical mark?

It seems that a lot of authors want their heroes to be marked in a special way. It is not enough that these protagonists are going to be heroes, no; they seem to require having a mark that makes them ...
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6 votes
5 answers
2k views

How can we have foreshadowing in a story that takes place in a universe where the future can't be known beforehand?

In a (non-comedic) story where the philosophical implications of the existence of any way of predicting the future (except by accident) happen to be unacceptable or incompatible with the laws or the ...
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27 votes
4 answers
3k views

How does one implement effective foreshadowing?

I am a "reread reader" - that is, I like to read the same book more than once. The books I have the most fun reading again are the ones that effectively foreshadow what comes later in the book. This ...
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