Saturday Writing Club Week 3

Image: Pink rose. Text: Writing Club Week 3. Foreshadowing.

Saturday Writing Club Week Three Foreshadowing

Post by Iris Carden

Each Saturday, I will give a few thoughts about writing, and a writing prompt.

If you want to take part, write your story in response to the prompt, and put the link to your story in the comments below. (Don’t have a space online to publish your story? *You can get a free WordPress site here.)

Initially, I plan to do this for six weeks. If the response is good, I’m happy to keep it going long-term.

Note: I use examples from my own books, so I don’t have to worry about copyright issues.

Writing Club Week 3 Foreshadowing.

Foreshadowing is narrative technique where there is a hint of something to come.  Often it is something that seems to be noted in passing, but then relates to something huge. It could be a prediction or prophecy.  It could be a dream that later relates to something that actually happens.  It could be something that happens to someone else, and a character says “I’d never do that”, but then is forced into a situation when they do exactly that.

Example (dream)

This night she was dreaming.  

She was on board an old, square-rigged sailing ship. The sea was rough and she was aware that it was dangerous, but she was at the helm and she had confidence in her own ability.

The storm raged on under a purple sky and the waves washed over the decks, but this did not affect her position at the wheel.

Even in the midst of the turmoil, Sandra had complete control, all she had to do was turn the wheel .. but the wheel would not turn. Sandra wrenched the wheel with all her strength, but did nothing except pull her muscles.

As she fought with the wheel, a wave larger thna all the rest rose beside her, hovered over the ship for a moment, and fell.

In the deluge, the ship was overturned. It rolled over and over, helpless. (from Karlee chapter 11.)

Sandra was driving …

“Pardon?” Sandra asked as she turned the wheel. The steering wheel stayed still. Sandra pulled at it, looked down and saw Karlee smiling up at her, as a little hand pulled the steering wheel in the opposite direction.

It was too late to use the brake, too late to do anything. The car rolled over three times and came to a standstill.

A door opened. The baby crawled out and sat down, chewing a lump of raw meat.

The car exploded in a fireball.  (from Karlee, chapter 14.)

Example (apparently unrelated event)

The TV’s on while I’m pondering.  Breaking news, a massive house fire.  A massive house, on a massive fire.  The television image shows three fire engines, a number of firefighters in heavy duty protective gear.  A reporter in a regular disposable biohazard suit is talking to a police officer in the blue uniform protective suit.   

There were five people in the house.  Two adults and three children including a newborn.  The blaze was so high so fast that there was no hope of saving anyone, and arson was definitely suspected.  Relatives had reported that the baby had a cough yesterday, and the mother had been frantic.  No-one said it, but it was heavily implied that either the parents had set the fire so Zedflu wouldn’t get the whole family, or neighbours had heard about the sick child and set the fire.

Five people died because a baby had a cough, that may or may not have been Zed-flu. (from Chapter “A Walk in the Park”, in Hollywood Lied)

Next I make sure all the doors and windows are closed and the air conditioner is off.  I tuck towels under the doors, to make sure there are no drafts, no air moving anywhere in the house.

I turn on all of the gas jets on the stove, without lighting them.

I take all the candles I can find to the bedroom, melt the bottoms to stick them to the bedside table, the dressing table, the top of the chest of drawers, and I light them all.  We may not have much of a funeral, but we’re going out with a bang. (from Chapter “Up in Flames”, in Hollywood Lied.)

Foreshadowing tends to be used in longer works, novellas or novels, rather than short stories.  For this week’s project, to write a short piece using foreshadowing, you may need to tell two parts of a longer story. (Imagine you are writing a novel. Write about the event/dream/whatever that foreshadows the main event. Then write about the event that was foreshadowed.)

Writing Task

This one is challenging. Write a short piece using foreshadowing.

If fitting this into a short story is too difficult, imagine you are writing a novel, write two different sections, one which foreshadows another.

In the comments on this post, give the link to your piece of writing, and explain how the foreshadowing helps in the story.

Don’t have a place to publish your story so you can share a link? * You can get a free WordPress site here

*Disclosure: If you use this link to create an account, I receive WordPress credit..


By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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