Isaiah 53 – Isn’t it amazing that so many years before Christ came Isaiah prophesied about Him? And, not only hints about Jesus, but specifics. There were details spelled out about Jesus and His death. With the details presented by Isaiah, there could be no missing the Christ when He came. The prophet’s words were a foreshadowing of Who was to come.
Foreshadowing means to give a hint or suggestion of beforehand.
As writers, we might employ this tactic in our stories. We can give our readers a hint of what will happen later in the story. This is especially noticeable when writing a mystery-type story in which the author allows the reader to slowly solve the mystery by planting clues earlier in the story.
Could your story benefit from planting some foreshadowing along the way? Think if there is a hint or suggestion you could include now as to something that will occur later in your story. The hint doesn’t have to reveal something that will occur at the end.
For example: Suppose your heroine had a bad experience with a police officer. She has just met a great guy. But, the heroine doesn’t know that the guy is actually an undercover policeman. The guy has no reason not to pursue the heroine because he knows nothing of the history. The reader knows that these two are headed for a conflict when things come out.
Here’s an example for a mystery story: Suppose you have a person who is guilty of something in your story and your heroine or hero is trying to pinpoint that person. The reader will also be trying to identify the guilty party along with your main character. The best way to allow the reader in on the pursuit is to drop little hints about the person’s identity throughout the story. The challenge is not to give too much that your reader easily figures it out and stops reading.
Though these two examples are different, each is a form of foreshadowing. Why not try to plant a few hints in your story?
As a Christian, we might think of the plan for our lives being revealed ever so slowly by God as foreshadowing. Some of the hints we receive might be in the form of affirmations, showing we are moving in the right direction.
As a Christian writer, what “hints” has God given you that you are following His plan? Have you received positive feedback for your writing? Has a reader shared how your writing encouraged them?