Foreshadowing

 

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There are many literary devices.

Writers use a good deal of them—often without knowing it. 

Foreshadowing is one that really packs a punch.

It is a literary device used to give the reader a hint of what is to come later in the story. It often appears at the beginning of a story, or start of a chapter.

To create foreshadowing, a writer may use dialogue, action, even chapter titles. These create an atmosphere of suspense, building reader anticipation as to what might happen next. For this reason, this device is most often used in mystery novels.

Here is just one example in literature, (From Act 2 in Romeo and Juliet by Robert Francis): “Life were better ended by their hate, than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.” 

Here, Juliet is concerned about Romeo’s safety. Romeo says he’d rather have her love (and die sooner) than not have it (and die later).

We all know what happened shortly after…

The Infamous “Twist”

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I asked my granddaughter what she enjoyed most about the series of books she is currently reading.

“That’s easy” she told me with a sparkle in her warm brown eyes. “Each one has an exciting twist.

Ah, yes. The unexpected. The change the reader hadn’t anticipated. 

I actually wrote my first book, Runaways, around just such a surprising event.

Some readers told me that the twist in The Choice was the fact that they knew what was coming, but didn’t think I would dare actually write about it.

And, so it goes. Each book must have one. 

Because we writers love to put that sparkle in our readers’ eyes.