How to Keep your Novel Interesting with Dialogue: Foreshadowing

Hey guys!

Wow! Have we ever come a long way since the first post in this series! 😄 We’re ending the last post with a bang, because #1 I love foreshadowing and #2 I’m giving you a freebie!

So Foreshadowing can be very complicated, and difficult to do correctly. In fact, I could probably make a very long series of Foreshadowing alone! But for today, we must focus on the dialogue side of things.

With Foreshadowing, you’re hinting at things to come.

FOR GOOD REASON!

Imagine this: you’re reading a book where the characters are in a mine, looking for diamonds, but the villains are also in there looking for diamonds. They get in a fight, and the characters are running away from them when suddenly, they’re at a dead end. They pick up a stick of dynamite from off the ground, and light it, blowing up a way through the tunnel and finding diamonds behind there to boot.

Say whaaaaat? Where did that dynamite come from?!

Readers HATE IT when something absolutely random comes in. It isn’t possible. Chance isn’t that good! (Especially if they’re in an un-explored mine; who would’ve conveniently dropped the dynamite there before?)

BUT.

If the characters had been walking around the mine, and one had dropped a stick of dynamite by accident, and couldn’t find it… that could work. They happen to run into a dead end, and then as they run around in panic, looking for a way out, the character’s foot happens to kick something that’s under some dirt… the stick of dynamite from earlier!

Now that makes sense.

But how can we do something like that with dialogue?

Characters can talk cryptically about something. If (lame example, but whatever) it’s Billy’s birthday, but no one seems to remember, you can foreshadow that they’re planning a surprise birthday party when everyone suddenly stops talking when he enters rooms, or when a character airily replies that they’ll be ‘busy’ later that day. They’re hinting through what they’re saying about the surprise party.

Characters can also unwittingly Foreshadow through dialogue! This is a fun one. If they’re doing attempting to figure out something, you can have them saying it all out loud (a bit like Explaining, which you can find out more from my post here) and they’ll be going over possibilities. “He was at the theater at four… but Mrs. Smith saw him at the florist’s at four as well… it’s not as if he can be in two places at once!” And then it turns out whoever He is actually has a twin, and only one of them is the murderer.

These random examples I come up with for you guys. 

Foreshadow is tricky but can be really fun to read if done right. I’ll admit, not too much of it is done through dialogue, so there’s not all that much for me to teach you about. 😛 But I hope you liked what I did talk about!

Freebie

The thing you’ve been waiting for! The freebie!

I made 3 bookish and writing posters for you. If you head on to the Freebies page, then you can find it there and download it! I would appreciate it if you would tell me what you think about them and how you like them! 😃

2 Blog Posts Worth Mentioning!

This past week I read 2 blog posts that I pretty much freaked out over. 😆

First off, Abby Smith from When Words Fly wrote an amazing post about Author Bios! If you guys noticed, I now have my own little author bio in the sidebar at the top. 😉

And Abbie Emmons wrote about insta-love in books. Like, should we burn it? Or is it maybe just being written wrong? I loved how much this made me think, and anyone trying to write romance (especially insta-love) should read this!

Writing

My re-writing wasn’t as much this week because I got really busy with school. *looks pointedly at math and science* However, I’m enjoying re-reading some scenes because my favorite character in it is so sarcastic. I don’t even remember everything she’s said! It’s like seeing them for the first time! 😂

My new story idea has been put on hold, but it actually is really fitting for this time of year. (I’ve officially put up a short thing about it on the My Books page!) It’s called The Frost, and all about cold wintery stuff. And it’s FREEZING over here! We had a bunch of snow a little while ago, so we had snowdrifts. It got a bit warm, a little bit melted, and then BAM. MORE SNOW. It’s snowdrifts on snowdrifts. A couple feet deep. And all that snow that melted? ICE.

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This is the end of the series! How did you like it?

Do you like the posters?

And the posts from Abby and Abbie? 😉

Julia

6 thoughts on “How to Keep your Novel Interesting with Dialogue: Foreshadowing

  1. It’s always fun when you reread your work and discover that your characters are adorably sarcastic and you don’t remember writing any of this (and it’s actually not bad!) xD

    I’ve always found foreshadowing to be tricky, because it’s a delicate balance between presenting the reader with just enough of a clue, and bashing them over the head with it. ;P
    That bit about the dynamite coming out of nowhere is a good point, Julia! I think the opposite end of the scale is Chekov’s gun? where if you mention a prop, people expect you to use it. So that makes things, again, tricky: if I mention it, they’ll know it’s going to be used, but if I don’t mention it, they’re going to be [quite reasonably!] asking where it came from. So I’m going to have to study this post a bit more and then do some practice. xD

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    1. Definitely! 😆

      Yeah, I’ve always struggled with that as well. I don’t have to foreshadow very often, but looking back at writing from like 2 years ago, I had NO FORESHADOWING, so all plot twists weren’t even plot twists. There were just… random. Ideas. That didn’t belong.
      I agree; I’ve learned to pay very good attention while reading, and the little things writers add into for foreshadowing can speak volumes to me in ways that it won’t to other people. (Meaning, I can spot plot twists from a mile away 😂) I can respect writers who can pull off plot twists I don’t see coming, so maybe I’ll have to reread those books and ‘study’ their foreshadowing? (Just as a writer, of course. 😜)

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  2. This was a really fun and useful series. Thanks for sharing all these with us, Julia!! I read Abby Smith’s post too and it was amazing 🙂 Foreshadowing is something I have never actually really thought about, but this post has make me more interested in it. Thank you!!!

    Like

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