Elements of Fiction: Foreshadowing Part 2

Monday, June 28

We've discussed what foreshadowing is and its most common form.
So how do we create foreshadowing?

Dialogue
What people say can hint at future events. For example in The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell;

"...Great sport, hunting.”
“The best sport in the world,” agreed Rainsford.
“For the hunter,” amended Whitney. “Not for the jaguar.”
“Don’t talk rot, Whitney,” said Rainsford. “...Who cares how a jaguar feels?”
“Perhaps the jaguar does,” observed Whitney.
“Bah! They’ve no understanding.”
“Even so, I rather think they understand one thing—fear. The fear of pain and the fear of death.”
“Nonsense,” laughed Rainsford. “...The world is made up of two classes—the hunters and the huntees. Luckily, you and I are the hunters."

This conversation rings with meaning when Rainsford later becomes the "hunted".

Events
The things that happen in the beginning can carry symbolism of what is to come.
From Michele Torrey's Voyage of Ice;

“A baby bird...”
Dexter peered into the tree overhead. “Must’ve fallen from its nest. C’mon, Nick, put it down. It’ll make a fine meal for something...”
“But we can’t let it die.”
“All things die, Nick.”
“I can feed it milk. And a worm, maybe..."
The hatchling was warm in my hands, and all the way back I whispered to it while Dexter rowed the boat and rolled his eyes.
...For two days I kept the bird alive, but it finally died as Dexter said it would. I held the cold, stiff body, thinking maybe it wasn’t really dead yet, but Dexter snatched it from me and buried it in a hole in the yard.
“It’s over,” he said, dry-eyed and looking disgusted.
I bawled my eyes out. Couldn’t help it. I visited the little grave for weeks, until it was overgrown and I could no longer see where it used to be.

Later in book, Nick shows the same compassion for life when he, and others, are stranded.

Narration
A simple sentence can allude to what's going to happen. Tucked neatly in a story could be,

"That was the last time Marcus ever saw her..." (This is a direct telling that something happens that prevents Marcus and the girl from ever seeing one another.)

"His words were kind enough, but his voice was cold. I was suddenly afraid..." (The narrator is always right, and holds great sway on the reader's opinions.)

"But it was too late anyway. No one could survive six months in Antarctica... (Whenever someone says something is impossible in a story, we usually assume it isn't. Because that's what writing a story is about; doing the impossible through a story.)

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