In a script, the area where a writer gives an advance hint of what is to come later in the story.

Foreshadowing is a literary device in which a writer gives an advance hint of what is to come later in the story. Foreshadowing often appears at the beginning of a story, or a chapter, and it helps the reader develop expectations about the upcoming events.

A writer may implement foreshadowing in many different ways. Some of these ways include character dialogues, plot events, and changes in setting. Even the title of a work or a chapter can act as a clue that suggests what is going to happen. Foreshadowing in fiction creates an atmosphere of suspense in a story so that the readers are interested and want to know more.

This literary device is generally used to build anticipation in the minds of readers about what might happen next, thus adding dramatic tension to a story. Moreover, foreshadowing can make extraordinary and bizarre events appear credible, some events are predicted in order to make the audience feel anticipated for them.

Hints may be about future events, character revelations, and plot twists to create mood, convey the theme and building suspense, usually to hint the good events that will likely cross paths or happen to the main character later on.

The plot can be delayed by characters or events to give the impression that something momentous will occur to build anticipation and emphasize the importance to them, giving the audience a series of questions particularly after cliff hangers.

This literary device is frequently adopted for use by composers of theatrical music, in the composition of operas, musicals, radio, film, television, gaming, podcast, and internet scores and underscores, and incidental music for spoken theatrical productions.

Foreshadowing can be accomplished by the use of story-driven or fictional events which can bring original dialogue, emotional investment in the plot, such as for the main character, unknown and present characters.

  • A flashback is the interruption of a sequential narrative plot to present important events that have happened in the past to present plot points that are difficult to bring into the narrative, such as character traits, events, or themes that may drive the current narrative or to be revealed.
  • Flash-forward moving the plot forward in time where formerly revealed or new character traits, events, or themes of the past or present are brought into the story. Themes can be flash-forwards are shown to embellish past or current plot points.
Adapted from content published on
Last modified on January 11, 2020, 1:16 pm is a service provided by Codecide, a company located in Chicago, IL USA.