Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Foreshadowing

Before I get into my post I have to say a huge, heartfelt Thank You to my fellow Heartwarming bloggers. To me, true kindness is when a person does something for another without agenda and without anything to gain. And this week I was blessed with an unexpected, astounding amount of true kindness. Within hours of asking my fellow Heartwarming friends for help with a personal/professional project-they all came through. So, Thank You all so much for your help:) Hugs.

On to my post...

Foreshadowing in a novel is something that I personally love...if the author uses it well and it catches me off guard. I don;t like being able to predict the novel's ending from the foreshadowing on the first page, but when little clues are given throughout the novel-it's fun to go back and have those 'aha' moments once you reach the end.

In my writing, I usually finish the book, then make sure somewhere in the first chapters (if I can do it) there is some indication of the outcome, and I also try to use the following techniques that may be helpful to you as well:

-Foreshadow a major event that will happen to your main character by having a similar, minor event happen to a secondary character. The reader may not give it much thought at the time, but will remember it and connect the two later.

-You can also foreshadow by introducing a surprise effect. Create a predictable situation, but have the unexpected results happen. Readers will see where the story is heading, but they will be hoping that it's just a trick and that their instincts are not right. This is a bit of a gamble, but when done skillfully, it can keep a reader on the edge of their seats. (However, this tip may not be suitable to our romance genre-maybe more literary love stories.)

I'm always looking for new ways to create foreshadowing effectively in my writing, so I'd love to hear your tips:)

xo
Jen

13 comments:

  1. Good morning, Jen! I don't consciously know a lot about foreshadowing - as you said, mostly because genre romance doesn't require a lot of it. Unless you're a clever plotter, and I'm not. (No false modesty there - I'm not!) The only 'sort-of-like-that' element I use is the story coming full circle, back to its beginning. In my current book, the heroine is knocked down by the hero's dog in the beginning and in the end, when she's trying to sneak into his mud room to get something he'd promised her and forgotten, the dog knocks her down again.
    Happy Day, everyone!

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    1. Hi Muriel! I'm not a plotter either-which makes writing synopsis for upcoming books SO hard lol.

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    2. Oh, I know. Doesn't it all sound like "Days of Our Lives" on a bad day?

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    3. Oh, Muriel, you need to write a blog called "Doesn't it all sound like Days of OUr Lives on a bad day. I almost fell out of my chair!

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  2. Jen, I haven't seen a lot of foreshadowing in series books that I can recall. I just read a hard cover book by a big name writer who used it in 3 places. All 3 stopped me, because I kept thinking it was author intrusion, because it more or less said, "I wasn't to know until much later how this would affect me"...or something to that effect. I thought, well if you don't know until later, how can you mention it now? But, I'd like to see it well done and maybe I'd understand better how it should work. I'm abominably bad at placing any kind of red herring in stories that are a bit of romantic suspense.

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    1. That's the problem with first person narrative. How else do you do that? I've tried to use it a couple of times and always get bogged down with how to explain what you know before you know it!

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    2. I agree, that does really take a reader out of a story. I tend to stay away from a lot of first person, as I find if I don't connect with the character, I don't enjoy the story as much, but there are definitely some that I think I would enjoy.

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  3. Hi Jen! I use foreshadowing in my YA work through dialogue or events that seem subtle or small but are a kind of connect the dots at the end. The trick is using a light hand so that the readers don't put it together too soon. I haven't written adult romantic suspense but I would use the same techniques.

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    1. Exactly Karen! Only three more days!!! You must be getting excited. Congrats on the great reviews:)

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  4. My favorite genre is romantic suspense. Foreshadowing is a must. Almost detail is suspect. Right now, I'm trying to figure out how to make a pair of green tennis shoes be a clue for later heheheheh And the reason they're important is because the cop hero is colorblind.

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    1. Oh my God-now I'm intrigued lol:) When is that book coming out lol

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  5. Hey, Jen! I love foreshadowing done well :). It adds to the read.

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