K. D. Dowdall

Pen and Paper

ForeShadowing 3

I was working on my second edition of a middle grade novel when my editor told me that I should be careful about using foreshadowing to liberally.  It was my writing technique to include foreshadowing at the end of each chapter, if needed. In fact, she eliminated, in each chapter, all but one of my foreshadowing lovelies.  It was hard to take. So, in a state of rebellion I put several of the best, in my opinion, back where they belonged. I kept those rebellious foreshadowing evils in my revision.  The following is an example:

With Foreshadowing:

After supper, Laura cleared the table and put the dishes in the sink to wash them. The summer storm had passed and in its wake was a beautiful evening.  It helped Laura to forget about the nightmare that still haunted her.  At the kitchen window above the sink, Laura watched as the first star of twilight became visible. It was the Dog Star, Sirius; the star that guided wayfaring sailors home from turbulent seas. “I wish, I wish” said Laura, that I could fly up to the planets and discover the world my parents knew, my home, somewhere up there. Laura had no way of knowing how prophetic her words would become and the danger therein.

Without Foreshadowing:

After supper, Laura cleared the table and put the dishes in the sink to wash them. The summer storm had passed and in its wake was a beautiful evening.  It helped Laura to forget about the nightmare that still haunted her.  At the kitchen window above the sink, Laura watched as the first star of twilight became visible. It was the Dog Star, Sirius; the star that guided wayfaring sailors home from turbulent seas. “I wish, I wish” said Laura, that I could fly up to the planets and discover the world my parents knew, my home, somewhere up there.

Come what may, I will live with this decision. Of course, if anyone out there has  some sage words of instruction, I would love to know how other writers have handled this perplexing problem!

4 thoughts on “Foreshadowing – how much is too much?

  1. Aya Walksfar says:

    Personally, I like the foreshadowing here. With young people, sometimes it is helpful to use foreshadowing to keep them engaged. Adults might like less foreshadowing–I don’t know of course how much you have in this book–but then we hope that adults get engaged on a deeper level than youth.

    Like

    1. Hi Aya:

      I agree and thank you for agreeing with me. You are right. Kids need somehting to bring them forward in their reading of a novel. they have shorter attentions spans and they loves secrets and mystery. They are compelled to find out what happened. When I read a novel, I love to have a hint of the mystery, the danger and the secret ahead. I guess I am a kid at heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Stella says:

    We’re a gaggle of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community.
    Your website provided us with helpful info to work on. You’ve done
    a formidable process and our entire community will be thankful
    to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Stella:

      I am glad you liked my post regarding “foreshadowing” and congratulations on your volunteer work for the community!

      K.D. Dowdall

      Liked by 1 person

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