Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Weekly Rants: October 10, 2012

Greetings Fellow Readers! Welcome to another of random ranting. This week I will be continuing my discussion on Foreshadowing.

- Foreshadowing Part 2 -

Okay we got the basic idea of how Foreshadowing works in storytelling, now how does one use it? Well technically from my personal writing experience, it works two ways...

Naturally and Artificially

There is a difference that you the writer will realize when putting words to paper. It is very quite obvious.

When it is done Naturally, you would not realize the Foreshadow until your 2nd draft, when you read through the story to look for the good stuff and bad stuff to remove. You'll spot the connection of what a character said or what the narrative conveyed later in the story that actually works. Naturally is not bad, it just happens through no fault of your own and is not bad writing. It's when you start making decision on what to do with that will determine good writing or bad writing. You might surprise yourself at how effective it was executed, or you may find it to be too soon to point out. They can be hard decisions to make because you want your story to work, or they can be easy decisions because you can see the obvious flaw in the Foreshadow. This is where you would find yourself more a surgeon than a writer because sometimes, removing a sentence or dialog could change the entire context and complexity of your story and what you wanted to convey to your reader is lost. Sometimes it may work.

When Foreshadowing is done Artificially, it's usually premeditated, to use a strong. You the writer KNOWS what you want in your story and what you want to Foreshadow because you believe it can impact the story and draw the reader in. Unlike Naturally where you had no plans, here you have to be savvy, know what your talking, and understand the direction your going. Foreshadowing is a double edged sword, you are giving a clue, through narrative or dialog, of what could be later in the story. This is where you have to be at your utmost subtle. Foreshadowing could cause you to lead your reader by the nose or you could mislead them with a red herring. You have treat Artificial Foreshadowing like souffle.

Outside of Natural Foreshadow, what is the best way to approach Artificial Foreshadow? For starters be subtle. Use symbolism in narrative, or have a character see something ordinary like a dog playing ball with a kid and his single father. When using dialog, just have a character make an off the cuff joke, or point out something common knowledge.

On a final note, Foreshadowing is a very powerful tool in writing. There is I believe an art to Foreshadowing, because when done right, the story can become very poetic and very poignant. The scenes, characters and situations that Foreshadowing affects can become very memorable, and even classic. Like an artist who has to carefully place that one streak of color to give the painting its meaning, Foreshadowing has to be placed in certain parts of your story to give what your saying some meaning, and it truly will look like a work of art. However, it can also be your downfall as a writer if used poorly or at the wrong time. You can lose the trust of your reader. Your story can become predictable and very obvious that nothing your narrative or dialog does will keep the readers interested.

Well this concludes my thoughts on Foreshadowing. It is a remarkable tool of writing and should not be overlook in fiction storytelling.

I thank you all for joining.

Until Next Time...
See ya

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