Writing Tips that will take your story to the next level!
Ever felt like you don't know where your story is going? Ever had any doubts about the quality of your story (or even your ability as a writer)? Ever thought that something was missing from your story but didn't quite know what that something was? Here's your chance to learn how to improve your writing. Ten fresh writing tips, which I didn't make up but borrowed from other experts and tailored them to the purposes of my own writing. Enjoy!
8. Let's talk about...foreshadowing!
Foreshadowing is extremely important in order to introduce future events in our stories. The rule of thumb is this: When you want to make a plot twist, make sure you have foreshadowed it beforehand. This doesn't mean that you will reveal the nature of the plot twist. It just means you will tell readers that something is gonna happen, without actually telling them what that something is.
When you don't foreshadow a major plot twist, readers will feel betrayed. They'll think you cheated on them. And that's certainly something you want to avoid. Don't foreshadow too openly; do it subtly. Just don't forget to do it.
For example, in the recent Oscar-winning Disney movie, Frozen, there is a plot twist near the end, which hasn't been foreshadowed at all. Those who've seen the movie know I'm talking about Hans (SPOILER), who turned out to be the bad guy (END OF SPOILER). The fact that in the whole duration of the movie, we weren't given even a subtle hint of his real self, annoys us to death. We thought he was good, how can he be so bad?
Now, as to how you foreshadow:
1) You give hints. Whenever an important event, change etc is going to happen, you need to have foreshadowed it a long time ago-- sometimes not so long.
2) The second part of foreshadowing is, what we call, the payoff. Whenever you foreshadow something, you have to fulfill readers' expectations and make that something happen. There's nothing more annoying than building hints for a huge event and then...no event happens. Not fair.
3) Don't underestimate readers' intelligence. That's why you shouldn't be straightforward; readers usually pick up on such insinuations. You need to make it as subtle as you can.
So, to foreshadow or not to foreshadow? I hope this chapter helped you make up your mind.