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Creating Suspense using Foreshadowing

Foreshadowing is a literary device used to give a hint of what is to come later in the story. Foreshadowing is useful for creating suspense, a feeling of unease, a sense of curiosity, or a mark that things may not be as they seem. In horror movies, this is often accomplished with mood music. In fiction, it's sometimes done with creepy details. Why Should You Use Foreshadowing? Foreshadowing is a key tool you can use as a writer to build dramatic tension and suspense throughout their stories. It’s a great tool to prepare your reader emotionally for big reveals.

How to Use Foreshadowing. Foreshadowing does not necessarily mean explicitly revealing what will happen later in your story. In fact, when it is used effectively, many readers may not even realize the significance of an author’s foreshadowing until the end.

1. Dialogue You can use your characters’ dialogue to foreshadow future events or big reveals. This foreshadowing may take the form of a joke, an offhand comment, or even something unsaid that adds personality to your characters while planting the seed for later revelations.

  • In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Romeo says he prefers to die sooner than live without Juliet’s love: “Life were better ended by their hate, Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.”

2. Setting The choices you make about the setting or atmosphere of your story can foreshadow events as well.

  • In a western movie, the good guy enters a bar, has a drink and leaves. The bad guy scowls and spits on the floor and you know there is definitely more to come between them.

3. Title The title of a novel or short story can be used to foreshadow major events in the story as well.

  • In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” foreshadows not just the destruction of the physical house, but the demise of an entire family.

4. Character traits A character’s appearance, attire, or mannerisms can foreshadow that character’s true essence or later actions.

  • A serial killer in your book has been targeting very tall women. If your blond female detective is six feet/1.83 meters tall, the reader is going to worry about her.

The more you become aware of how this literary device is used, the easier it will be for you to recognize it when you see it. Seeing how other authors use it can also help you better use foreshadowing in your own creative writing efforts.

Happy Writing!

From IABX ***Source Internet

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