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