1. ck1221
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    ck1221 Member

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    Plot Hints?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by ck1221, Jul 13, 2012.

    I have a question, I've seen it done before, but basically I want to make sure Im correct. In my story the M/C's wife is deceased, which is part of his problem(drug addiction) in the beggining of the story I havent disclosed why or when she passed away, I want to save that part until later on, but what if I dropped hints along the way(mentioning that she is deceased, her name etc but no more) would it peak the readers interest to continue reading or distracting enough to lose them? Thanks!
     
  2. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    It depends on how it's done. Do it well and it will pique my interest. Do it poorly and I will want to throw your book at a wall.
     
  3. epicfailpig
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    epicfailpig Member

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    Sure! Foreshadowing is great in almost every story - when it's not overdone. So long as you make sure that your hints are understandable, and keep them spread equally throughout the story, I think that a few hints here and there would work wonderfully.
     
  4. SaybleNox
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    SaybleNox Member

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    Keep in mind when foreshadowing you want it to flow with the story. The best kind of hint is woven so neatly into the plot that you may not even realize its giving away a secret. Then later on when they find out suprise late ron theyll go "oh yeah! That makes sense!"
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    It all depends on how you want to take it. If this is truely an important aspect of your M/C than
    the wife needs to be a fully realized character or 'presence' in the story with the m/c being haunted by memories or her 'voice.'
    If it's too subtle than the reader will forget about her and your surprise will be more - wth , than okay , now I get it.
    I think they did this in Memento ( the movie ) and it was well done.
     
  6. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    You definitely want to avoid neon signs. Foreshadowing should be subtle.
     
  7. ck1221
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    ck1221 Member

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    It is important, her death is something that he refuses to come to grips with and will have to eventually in order to move forward later in the story, but I wanted to wait until later in the story to do it, and right now he's briefly mentioned it when he reminisces about his life prior to his addiction problem and once in a dream. I wanted it to be subtle like you said and not hit the reader over the head with it.
    Thanks for the tips!
     
  8. Mokrie Dela
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    Mokrie Dela Member

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    hints can be very powerful imo. The film "Planes Trains and Automobiles":
    Candy's character says things like "I havn't been home for years" which at first glimpse mean nothing but once you find out his wife's dead and he's alone, they suddenly carry power with them - especially on the second viewing.

    Do it right and you might be able to tell the reader she's deceased without ever saying it. As the plot carries on, the hints could get bolder but the risk there is that when you DO say she's deceased, the impact may be lessened. A balance will be needed and even if the reader picks up on the hints that she's dead, if they have doubts or uncertaincy, that may work in your favour when you finally reveal it. if he's in denial over her death, it's common for people to expect their partner to return. Hinting that she's "away" or"gone" and he expects her to come back some day might help build the emotion of her passing, and when the big reveal is done, might be a bigger impact for the reader. As said above, subtlety can be your best friend
     
  9. ck1221
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    ck1221 Member

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    Thats a really good idea, I like that a lot to be honest. LOL.. I didnt think of it that way and now that you said that, its makes a lot sense, and its and a really awesome idea, thank you!
     
  10. Morkonan
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    Morkonan Senior Member

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    ^--- This.

    When I saw this in the movie and Martin's flashback scene, I had a wonderful "Aha!" moment, artfully enabled by the writer and director of that film. It was brilliant. If everyone could develop mysteries and reveal them like that, we'd have half our work cut out for us.

    While not exactly "foreshadowing", it is certainly a wonderful bit of writing.

    For the OP:

    One thing you may want to do is have the main character make special notice of situations that are like his own. For instance, he might notice lonely people. If you want to go deeper, you can use imagery and have only a pepper shaker on the dining room table with no salt shaker in sight. Well, nothing that cheesy, but you probably understand the point - Take things that normally appear in pairs and then remove one of them. A "His" towel without a "Hers" towel on the rack beside it, for instance. No heterosexual single man would just buy a "His" towel. Likewise, he could have a two-car garage in his home and you could describe it as such, but with only one car in it. This evokes the imagery that you're trying to set up without directly mentioning his deceased wife.
     

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