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Another tool used by the writer to add suspense, dread or excitement to the story is foreshadowing. What is foreshadowing and how does one use it successfully?
Foreshadowing (fore means ahead and a shadow is a glimpse of something without all the details) is when the author lays around hints and clues as to what will happen in the future. If this is done skillfully enough, the reader will finish the story, then look back and exclaim, “Wow! I should have seen that coming!”
Foreshadowing fills the reader with anticipation about what might happen next. It creates suspense and gives information that helps the reader understand what happens later on in the story. Whereas flashbacks can consist of only a few sentences or many paragraphs, foreshadowing is normally done in only a sentence or two.
What devices can be used in foreshadowing? Changes in the weather can be used to hint at coming good or bad. Character’s reactions to objects in their vicinity could take an important part in future scenes. Clues placed in the first few sentences of a chapter or story could hold clues to hint at themes that take a place of importance later on. Direct information can be given to the reader by talk of an upcoming event or by explaining the plans of characters.
A prime example of foreshadowing is found in the children’s story Little Red Riding Hood. Before Little Red Riding Hood leaves to take her grandmother some food, she is told by her mother to go straight to and from her grandmother’s house. She is told not to talk to any strangers in the woods and she is told to watch out for the big, bad wolf. The fact that her mother warned her to not talk to strangers and to watch out for the wolf is a clue as to what lies ahead.
Foreshadowing - Write a 300-500 word story in which foreshadowing is used. Place hints in the first part of the story about some event that will take place later on. In the second part of the story, fulfill what was foretold. Try to do it so skillfully that when the reader reaches the part of the story where the even takes place, they are amazed.
If you wish, you may post your story in the forum.
If you would like to purchase a copy of Little Red Riding Hood from Amazon, a link is provided below.
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