What is Foreshadowing?


Foreshadowing Tips

by Bob Bruggemann

Wikipedia says foreshadowing is a literary device in which an author suggests certain plot developments that might come later in the story. This is an example of foreshadowing:

Sam thought about what the perpetrator said. It was nothing he hadn’t heard before; he’d been threatened many times. The light turned green and he swung around the corner. His eyes panned down the quiet block of single family homes and he knew something was wrong.  His partner’s house was dark and so was his. Sam rolled up to the curb and turned off the engine. Leaving his cap on the passenger seat, he pulled out his service revolver, loaded a round into the chamber, and cautiously stepped out of the car.   

Sam’s actions give a blatant description of what could happen next. The reader has been forewarned that something might be wrong.  It could be a false alarm or it could be something devastating. Only time will tell.

The reader will fall into this trap easily and without suspicion. It’s perfectly natural for a man to enter a tense and dangerous situation with his gun drawn… but suppose he enters the foyer, the lights suddenly come on, and he hears:

“Surprise! Happy birthday, Honey!”  He found a room full of neighbors in the living room, holding up drinks for a toast. The joy faded as they focused on Sam’s cocked 9mm pistol.

This scenario is a variation of foreshadowing called “misdirection” or otherwise known as a “Red Herring.” See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreshadowing for more examples on the following:   

o   Premonition

o   Master patterning

o   Red herring (misdirection)

o   Prophecy’s and omens

As an author, you control your world, along with everyone and everything in it.  Never be afraid to experiment and push your muse to the limit. There are no limitations to your imagination. Use red herrings and foreshadowing to great advantage.

For more great writing tips, get The Writer’s Choice Newsletter at http://www.creativewritinginstitute.com.

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How Mothers Find Time to Write

Finding Time to Write

by Deborah Owen, CEO, Creative Writing Institute

1. Without a doubt, the number one place to write undisturbed is on the commode. Take a cup of Java and enjoy your outing. Use the spray can a lot. It may dampen your paper, but it also stops questions like, “What are you doing in there for so long?”  

2. At the Laundromat. If you don’t mind writing while standing, the washer makes a great desk – at least until it starts spinning. Then you’re writing Chinese. 

3. The best ideas always come in bed. Keep a flashlight, pen, and paper by the bed. When the bloody muse pays you a visit in the night, prop one eye open with a toothpick and try to scratch something decipherable.

4. When the car is being repaired. Oh yes, this is a great place. Greasy waiting rooms are definitely created by men for men and writing is a great way to avoid the smelly guy with the three day beard. 

5. Many pastors encourage their flock to take notes during sermons. It could be considered sinful if you didn’t obey.

6. Have playtime with the kids. They scribble with crayons and you write… quietly… for 20 minutes. If they’re extra quiet, they earn a piece of candy. 

7. Trade babysitting with a friend and steal some writing time on the side.

8. Tape water wings on the kids and throw them in the deep end of the pool. Nah. Bad idea.

9. Stay up late, get up early. Write during the kids’ nap time or your lunch break.

But here’s the best one:

10. Tell the family, “When I get 30 minutes of undisturbed writing, you get supper.”

 MOTHER’S DAY SPECIAL: $50 rebate on any writing course at http://www.creativewritinginstitute.com. Sign up online as usual and ask for your rebate by writing to CEO, deborahowen@cwinst.com. You have one year to take your course. Your rebate will arrive when you finish the class. Sign up today.