Tag: foreshadowing

Narrative Techniques Series: #7 Foreshadowing

Narrative Techniques Series: #7 Foreshadowing

We reached the 7th Narrative Technique between our Narrative Techniques Series: Foreshadowing.

This Technique consists of showing something that anticipates or foreshadows an event. For example, let’s think of a narration that begins with a male character who has to break up a schoolyard fight among some boys vying for a girl’s attention.

Next, she introduces foreshadowing the events leading to a dinner-time dispute between the character and his twin brother over her, whom both are courting simultaneously.

What is the Narrative Technique of Foreshadowing?

The Narrative Technique of Foreshadowing is nothing more than a hint of something that will come or be used later in the plot. For instance, the object or the ability needed by the character to succeed in such a situation. Imagine if the writer didn’t use this at the beginning of the story. As readers, we might encounter a complicated situation that the protagonist inexplicably solves easily. It will leave us with a bitter taste in our mouths.

According to the playwright Anton Chekhov, if a gun appears in a novel, it must fire. This concept in narration is Chekhov’s gun. We can link his statement to the technique of foreshadowing. If you missed the in-depth article on Chekhov’s gun, you could find it here.

The narrative technique of foreshadowing makes it possible to effectively and credibly insert, in advance, the elements necessary for the development of the narrative. This avoids the feeling of dissatisfaction we have just talked about and, on the contrary, creates suspense, intrigue, and mystery.

How to introduce the Narrative Technique of Foreshadowing?

Foreshadowing can be a cryptic dialogue between two characters who have yet to make their move. It could be a brief scene of a villain plotting behind the scenes, something unclear. It could be even a very simple cameo.

As with all the narrative techniques we have written about, foreshadowing also applies to the rule of not overdoing it. The risk is, as always, to confuse our reader or viewer.

Foreshadowing: a Narrative Technique in the Cinema

Think of the film 13 going to 30 starring Jennifer Garner. One of the first scenes shows Jenna Rink (Jennifer Garner). She is a successful 30-year-old and what led her to become that way.

Another obvious example is the technological gadgets presented to James Bond at the beginning of the film. Right from the start, we know that they will be crucial in saving the protagonist from a desperate situation.

One of the directors who make the most extensive use of the narrative techniques mentioned so far, including Foreshadowing, is Christopher Nolan.

In his film “The Prestige“, for example, and without spoilers, events are foreshadowed at the beginning. They will serve to close the film. Even though they are situations that have already been seen and understood, the feeling of surprise and the twist at the end of his films is always just around the corner.

Now you’re looking for the secret. But you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled.

The Prestige (2006)

Use bibisco’s novel writing software to build your original story

To include a particular Narrative Technique such as Foreshadowing, it is necessary to be clear about the development of the narrative. Otherwise, it may be challenging to retain the anticipation of events naturally without confusing the reader.

With bibisco’s innovative and modern novel writing software, you can decide in advance what the outline of your narrative is. In this way, inserting the Foreshadowing Narrative Technique will be easier and more natural and will leave your reader or viewer speechless!

Narrative Techniques Series: #7 Foreshadowing- bibisco's architecture and narrative strand - bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software
bibisco’s architecture and narrative strand

Conclusions

Foreshadowing is certainly one of the most interesting in our Narrative Techniques Series. Read or seen for the first time, if well used; it is meant to leave a sense of wonder in the reader.

Seen a second time, it allows one to understand what the dynamics of the narrative are full. Moreover, knowing how the narrative develops, you can concentrate more on the feelings of the protagonists.