CAN A CHARACTER’S FLASHBACK/BACKSTORY SCENE FORESHADOW THEIR DEATH OR EXIT?
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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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HAVE YOU EVER WROTE OR READ A SCENE WHERE YOUR CHARACTER’S DEATH IS FORESHADOWED WITHIN A FLASHBACK ?
I want to know so let me know in the comments below.
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