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One thing I have learned  with being a  screenwriter and looking at  a lot  of television is the  predictability  of a  scene or  characters  fate.  I instinctively know the points in a scene where the character is about to be  in danger , fall  in love  or meet its  fate.  It becomes no longer a foreshadowing technique .  

I believe this is apparent especially  in a tv show when the  writer introduces  an important  characters  backstory  all of a  sudden  or make them  the forefront  character  story A or B  of an episode  and then BOOM  they  die or  leave  at the end of the episode .

Maybe it is just me or because I’m used to it but this is apparent  in every television  show if  you pay attention  and that foreshadowing technique  is very easily   written and  used by tv writers .

What is  foreshadowing ? And can a character’s backstory   scene  really foreshadow  a character’s death?

Let’s  explore  and delve  deeper .

What is foreshadowing? And how do writers usually use it?

Foreshadowing is a literary   device   that can either  be subtle or direct  to alert the reader  or give hints or clues  to the  reader  of what  will happen next.

A writer can  foreshadow an  event  or character  fate through  Dialogue, setting ,  title , metaphor or symbol  and also backstory or a  flashback  . 

Foreshadowing a  characters  fate through  backstory  is probably  the  rarest way to hint at what will  happen to the character  or story  overall.   But   it can be done  where the flashback  is significant  enough  to the present of the story where it can hint at  repercussions  of prior actions that will occur in the  story  in  future scenes.

A good  way to do this  is to connect an object, symbol  or moment from within  the flashback  into the present day scene.

In order to work  well the flashback scene  should be  preferably short and also especially if you are foreshadowing  the  characters death through backstory it is   important to strike a balance between foreshadowing/building up to the moment, and not giving too much away  within the flashback.

We   don’t as writers want to overemphasize that the character  is going  to die by  talking or  having  a flashback about   the future and how great their long, long life is going to be. By doing this the writer is  hinting  at  the fact  too much that their  character  is not going to  make  it  out  of the story alive . 

That’s  what I notice often  in movies and television shows  but  a better way to do this  as a writer  is to  write the foreshowing as subtly as  you can within  the flashback.

An example of this is in the Godfather  where they  effortlessly use  flashbacks  to foreshadow and show the contrast  within   present and  past in   the film. 

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