Greetings Fellow Readers! Welcome to another of random ranting. Tonight I want to talk more about writing. I would like to talk about Foreshadowing.
This is actually something I love and culminated from and unpublished work I made a decade ago that got my attention. One of the things that have disappointed me is that I have not found much essays, books on writing, or any talk about this. I found some brief blogs about it, but nothing comprehensive. Nothing talking about the technique or applying that technique in writing. And it's such a shame because this is a very powerful tool to have in your disposal and it really is fun for both writer and reader.
IF... DONE... RIGHT...
Let's start with the basic question. What is Foreshadowing?
The general consensus among writers is simply throwing in subtle hints or clues that predicts an event that will happen later in the story but are easily dismissed or guessed by the reader.
A good example is Jaws. When Hooper, Quint, and Brody prepared to go out to sea to fight the shark. There were scuba tanks loading up and Quint says: "Yeah, that's real fine expensive gear you brought out here, Mr. Hooper.
'Course I don't know what that bastard shark's gonna do with it, might
eat it I suppose." Now keep in mind that during this scene, Quint said this as joke, a mockery of sorts. Nobody was to think about this, the audience or the characters in the story. It was just a conversation of three men getting ready to fight a shark. And low and behold at the end... at scuba tank is in Jaws mouth and guess what Brody did?
This actually a fine example of doing good Foreshadowing. The hint was placed in a casual conversation, and dropped in as joke from character to another. Very subtle.
Now mind you that, and to be fair, not everyone in the audience or readers for that matter, are dedicating their reading time looking for these hints and clues. Their just trying to enjoy the movie or story and that's all right. There also times when it could look like an overreach because writers didn't see the foreshadow they made or even sought to make a foreshadow. It can happen.
However, writer this is something that should be learned and understood by writers, because a really good foreshadow are the ones that casual readers and casual audiences will pick up, get the idea, and then get hit with hammer of shock. Just look the Sixth Sense.
Next week I will continue my thoughts on Foreshadowing and get into the meat of how this thing ticks. Hopefully what I say will make some sense.
Until next time...