The Villain as a Reflection Revisited

It is a common trope in fiction for the ‘villain’ and the ‘hero’ to be two sides of the same coin. Sometimes this is in the form of ‘what if the hero’s life had gone a different way could they be the villain?’ or, alternatively, it can be the hero and the villain sharing similar […]

A Question Too Far

Problems arise with foreshadowing when we make it too conspicuous. As we discussed with symbolism and red-herrings they’re elements of foreshadowing that are narrative tools but we don’t necessarily want the reader to notice to tools until we’re ready. The primary problem with emphasising foreshadowing is that when we emphasis it we can actually cancel […]

The False Shadow

The most conspicuous form of foreshadowing is the red-herring, a form of misdirection. Now, you might argue this isn’t foreshadowing because it’s leading you down the wrong path or it’s a false foreshadowing that it leads your towards a conclusion, though this conclusion may be incorrect. You might even argue that it isn’t false foreshadowing […]

Simplifying Symbolism

Symbolism goes hand-in-hand with implication in foreshadowing. This doesn’t mean that all implication is symbolism or even that all symbolism is implication. For example, someone wearing a religious symbol is often an indicator that they belong to that faith rather than an implication, though some religious symbols have entered fashion and are therefore not always […]

Did I Say That?

A large part of foreshadowing is implication. Writers have been known to confuse foreshadowing with plot exposition such as telling the reader, ‘Doing X could end the world’. While we’re revealing a potential outcome of the story we’re not foreshadowing the ending we’re telling the reader the stakes without which the story couldn’t function. In […]

What is Foreshadowing?

Foreshadowing is the act of hinting at possible outcomes of a story, sometimes well in advance of the end. It can even be included right at the beginning of the story. However, foreshadowing can be tricky because if it’s too much or too obvious it can spoil our ending by revealing it too soon. It’s […]

Please Mind The Gap

So we’ve discussed what we can put into dialogue and what we can take out of dialogue maybe it’s time for what doesn’t need to be said. Previously we’ve looked at the concept of what the reader needs to know and when they need to know it and the same can be said of dialogue. […]