Foreshadowing builds anticipation for readers in what could occur, adding unexpected striking apprehension to your writing. Suspense is created in mystery novels, with misleading or distracting words and phrases for readers. When foretold unusual and surprising events seem believable, using foreshadowing that prepares the readers. When used at the beginning of a story or chapter, readers may expect coming events or an experience in a story. There are various ways of creating a foreshadowing. A writer may use dialogue hints to indicate a cause for changes in events or traits in the future. Any event or action in the story may signal to the readers about future events or action. Title or a chapter title can suggest what will happen. In fiction the atmosphere of suspense creates a mood, or it conveys information the tone giving readers interest to know more. Clues both subtle and direct in the text seem believable; readers feel prepared for the plot events when they happen with foreshadowing. When there is a possibility of conflict foreshadowing can be used, it advances the story. Unusual details, differences in progression, a unique emotional significance; can suggest and later prove significant for plot or character.
Examples of foreshadowing:
John Steinbeck’ East of Eden, based his novel and named his characters Caleb and Aron to foreshadow their respective fates from the known story of Cain and Abel.
Agatha Christie’ Murder on the Orient Express, conversation overheard by Poirot between Mary Debenham and Colonel Arbuthnot on the way to Stamboul, Ratchett tells Poirot someone is going to murder him, Princess Dragomiroff tells Poirot her arms are not strong and looks at her arms.
Ray Bradbury’ A Sound of Thunder, the science of time travel takes hunters back in time. Travis insists that interrupting any of the natural processes in the past could have irreparable repercussions for the future. When the hunting party returns to their time, Eckels notices a strange smell in the air. It's faint, but something is different. He looks around him trying to figure out what has changed. The immediate thing that he noticed had changed was the sign upon the wall. The words were spelled differently, and Eckels begins to panic, seeing firsthand the repercussions of his stroll off of the path. The death of a single butterfly has dramatically altered the world they once knew.
John Milton’ Paradise Lost, turning to their daily obligations, they are reminded that they have power and free will. They may be able to attain a purer state through obedience. Eve's dream is confirmation and emphasis on what the reader knows must and will happen. Further, by bringing up the dream at this point in the text, Milton makes the reader analogous to God. Both God and the reader know that Adam and Eve will fall, but neither the reader nor God is the cause of that fall.