Foreshadowing. What makes you read on? #4
This is the final post in this series, created as a lead in the launch of The Jerusalem Puzzle ebook on Monday Dec 3rd. We have had:
and now this final post in the series.
Foreshadowing, for me, comes in two forms. The first is the simple, “something different was about to happen” phrase inserted in the text, which makes the reader wonder what is about to happen. I recommend doing this only very occasionally.
I think I use this explicit form of foreshadowing only twice in The Jerusalem Puzzle. The reason you can’t use it very often is that readers get tired of such things very easily. Explicit foreshadowing loses its appeal very quickly.
The second type of foreshadowing is a general foreshadowing brought about by the plot. For instance, if the main character is going to Jerusalem to investigate the disappearance of someone he knows, then the reader will naturally anticipate what will happen next. This subtle foreshadowing is useful because it uses the reader’s imagination. It’s not just plot driven novels that use subtle foreshadowing, literary novels use it too. When any change or event is anticipated in the text you are using foreshadowing.
Inspiring anticipation is a critical aspect of writing compelling fiction in my opinion. Anticipation is, for me, one of the greatest pleasures of being alive. Looking forward to Christmas, a holiday, a big game, a night out, a family event, an election, are what keeps many of us going through the hum drum nature of everyday life. If you can inspire anticipation in your writing, by hinting at what is to come, you will have cracked a powerful technique to make people read on. And I use make deliberately.
I hope you have enjoyed this series. If you would like to order The Jerusalem Puzzle please click one of the links to the right. Next week I will post about the secrets revealed in The Jerusalem Puzzle. Thanks for coming here.