1. TheDarkWriter
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    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    Should I foreshadow this revelation?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by TheDarkWriter, May 23, 2013.

    In my story reveal that the main character has a connection to the story of Robbin Hood but I'm concerned that it won't be believable enough. I'm thinking about him finding a book about the adventures of Robin Hood and having a reaction to it like throwing it in the trash or something. I feel like if I don't foreshadow it the readers will feel like it came out of no where.
     
  2. BasRoseUK
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    BasRoseUK New Member

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    Hi Dark, I know the problem. I had it recently. The best example I can think of, is in Robert Goddard's 'Out of the Blue'. He uses a sub plot to disguise the leak of the critical information. By the time you reach the climax, you've forgotten that you knew it and kick yourself. Very clever.
    You could also use a TV program with a conversation between the viewers to get your point across surreptitiously.
    Good luck with the story and enjoy.
     
  3. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    Yes, your concern is right, but the foreshadow should be defined by how they are connected.
     
  4. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Dialogue is a nice way to foreshadow, as when you do it through narration it can feel like telling and not showing, and therefore readers are more likely to think "Hmm, maybe this is important to remember", and it's effectively ruined the foreshadowing. Also, use it depending on where you plan to reveal his relationship/link with Robin Hood. You must decide how many times you want to foreshadow before the event really happens, and make sure not to write however-many foreshadowings too close together as again, readers may suspect something's up.
     
  5. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    However you insert the foreshadowing into your story, it's probably a good idea NOT to link it in any way with what will happen later on. Have it be a discussion, thought—whatever—about Robin Hood that comes from his past and does not appear to foreshadow anything. If he just finds a book and throws it away, that's too obvious. Hmm...I'm explaining this badly.

    The Robin Hood event needs to be memorable enough so the reader won't just pass it by as a bit of setting fluff, but it should not make the reader stop at that point and think: hey, why is this important, maybe he's going to do the same thing. If you introduce it too casually—out of the blue early on—readers will glom onto the fact that it's probably foreshadowing something.

    Could you make it connect to his love of reading, movies, folklore, or a chat with an old friend who used to play Robin Hood games with him in days of yore, or something like that? Sneak it into the story as if it's important in some other way. To illustrate his relationship with his old friend, for example? Once the reader gets to the Robin Hood link in the future, the connection will click. But not before.

    Hard to be more helpful, really, without knowing more about your character and his story.
     
  6. TheDarkWriter
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    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    He was the sheriff and in his human life he loved Robin like a younger brother then when Robin came back from the war/crusade the main character became the sheriff and was in fact married to Marrian. But when Robin came back and began doing his thing they began to resent each other because Robin use to go on about justice and all that good stuff which is why the main character became sheriff to enforce the law and what not. Things really got bad when he learned Marrian fell in love with Robin and that's when he started to get a little evil.
     
  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    You say 'in his human life.' What is he now? Is this a time-travel story, or has he become something else? I assumed your character must live in modern times, because you mention him throwing a book about Robin Hood into the trash. Still puzzled. I think it's probably more the modern version of your character that we need to know about, in order to address your concern about foreshadowing. Presumably the foreshadowing will come in your modern-day character's dimension?
     
  8. TheDarkWriter
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    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    Well he's a vampire in modern times and I'll be honest the more I keep thinking about this the more I think "Dear god I didn't think this through." I'm probably going to have to go back to the drawing board.
     
  9. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    Do that. You can't foreshadow something you are not so sure about. Not necessary that you have to have the foreshadow now, you can add them after you have, may be, the first draft.
     
  10. Darkhorse
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    Darkhorse Member

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    I dunno, I think it could work. It was just confusing without the entire context to begin with.

    So, to summarise: Your MC is a vampire in modern times, but before he became a vampire - when he was human - he was the sheriff in the robin hood story and you do not want the reader to know who he was straight away.

    Seems like it has potential.
     
  11. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I think that has a LOT of potential, and I'm not a fan of vampire stories either!

    Will your character be 'going back' to his Robin Hood days? I didn't know vampires could go back in time. Can they? If not, what is this actually foreshadowing? That he was the sheriff? Does this mean he's going to recreate his role in the present, and attack some local 'Robin Hood' type of guy? See, I'm already curious...!
     
  12. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    I think that if the connection to Robin Hood is not very integral to your plot, you should only mention it briefly if not not at all.
     
  13. Vofzolne
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    Vofzolne Member

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    Read The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
    Slight spoiler...


    Robin Hood appears in that story, and is well foreshadowed.
     
  14. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    In foreshadowing, a lot will depend on how important his distant past as the Sheriff of Nottingham is to the present story. Do your vampires have long memories (they do in the classic literature)? If so, why has he forgotten this event? How much does he remember of the past? Think how you might trigger that latent memory without alerting him or the reader to its significance.

    What is his cover now? I mean, Edward and crew in Twilight pretended to be ordinary high school students and Count Dracula was an aristocrat, which was a profession in itself. But ordinary vampires like Lucy Westernra had to sneak back into their tombs during the day and couldn't mix in polite society.

    So your MC: Is he just all about surviving as a vampire, or does he appear to be an ordinary guy? If the latter, maybe he's a cop, or a judge, or a parole officer, and the Robin Hood legend can come up in that context.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015

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