Foreshadowing is a way to tease your readers. It should be hidden where the readers will shout, “I didn’t see it coming? Everything makes sense now!”
To make this work, you need to understand what foreshadowing is and what it means.
A foreshadow is a hint to a major plot point in the story. It’s hidden within layers. Here are a few tips on foreshadowing when writing.
Not all books need it.
Not every book needs a foreshadowing and not every plot point should be hinted in the story. Remember readers are clever. If you have your story full of hints, they will figure it out.
If you want to add a foreshadow in your novel, you’ll have to ask
What is the major event in the story?
Will my reader guess what’s to come without a foreshadow?
I think foreshadowing doesn’t work well with a romance novel, for example. We don’t need anyone telling us the leading lady will meet the guy of her dreams. Hence, why readers picked the book. But if you are writing a thriller and the leading lady is going to meet the man of her dreams, while there is a serial killer, it can set alarms to the reader.
If you plan to foreshadow, you’ll need to place it in the beginning. If you add it later, it might look like you planted it there for the sake of it.
Dialogue is a great tool to use to foreshadow a single line that can raise curiosity.
Foreshadowing when writing: Less is more
The secret of foreshadowing is to send a secret message to your reader. Do not litter your story with hints, the readers will figure it out.
Deliver your clues
Last, in foreshadowing when writing. No matter how sneaky you’ll be, most readers will pick up on your hint so it is important you deliver your foreshadowing hints and leave nothing out.
I don’t do outlines, but I make sticky notes on my computer with everything that I need to write. Or I’ll make a list of all foreshadows I used to make sure I’ll deliver all of them. The last thing you’ll need is a novel filled with plot holes.
An Example of foreshadowing using A Game of Thrones TV Show SPOLIER AHEAD
Game of Thrones has great foreshadowing. I’ve read the books and seen the show. I’m going to deliver an example from the show since the books are yet to be finished.
On season two when Dany enters the house of the undying, she comes across the iron throne. She doesn’t sit on it and the throne looks to be surrounded by snow. Dany only touches the throne and moves on.
On season eight, Dany destroys Kings Landing and she makes it to the throne room. We find out that it wasn’t snow surrounding the throne in season two but ash and she touches the throne and doesn’t get to sit on it.
Happy writing and reading.