Friday, May 1, 2009

Welcome to May!

First off let me say, Happy Birthday Ramona Richards!

Today I'd like to talk about foreshadowing suspense. While watching movies, every time I see the camera linger a nanosecond too long on a character who picks up a knife to cut vegetables I automatically assume that knife is going to be used to kill or maim someone somewhere down the road. My kids hate watching TV with me because I'm always compelled to comment on it. I usually get the rolled eyes and a "Just watch the movie, ma!"

I can't help it. I love to dissect good suspense movies and a good suspense always uses good foreshadowing technique. Why is foreshadowing important? Easy. While we love to be surprised by something unexpected, some twist we never saw coming, it's too easy for that surprise to jar us out of the story with questions of whether it is believable.

Foreshadowing clues and motivation for the characters in your story is integral to making the scene believable. A good twist requires the author to drop hints along the way so when you ARE surprised by the twist of events because you never saw it coming, you're also thinking it's totally believable because the evidence was there all along.

Foreshadowing can come in the way of clues, i.e. the knife in the kitchen or in character motivation. When we make our characters do something out of the ordinary, we need to foreshadow the motivation of why they would behave that way. My favorite example is the scream on the other side of a locked door. Most people would hear that scream and run the other way and call 911. Some people would knock on the door and ask if the person who screamed is all right. But what if you want your character to knock down the door and go inside? If they do, you need to drop clues earlier in the story to show why the character would take that action rather than just simply call 911.

M Knight Shyamalan does foreshadowing well in his movies. How many of you were blown away when Bruce Willis turned out to be one of the dead people the little boy sees in The Sixth Sense? I know I was. And yet when it happened, it all made sense because it was foreshadowed throughout the movie.

What books can you think of that foreshadow suspense well? Is there a book you've read recently where you thought the story was headed in one direction and then BAM you never saw the twist coming and yet it all made sense when it did? I love a good read let me know.

Remember, if you post a comment you'll be in the running to win 4 FREE Love Inspired Suspense books.

Until next time...many blessings, Lisa Mondello

7 comments:

Edna said...

please enter me into your contest, I love book, and read a lotl


mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

PamelaTracy said...

I remember in Murder She Wrote, there was a scene where Jessica and Roddy McDowell were in the pantry. The camera zoomed in on a salt shaker. I told my husband. Hmmm, there's something about the salt shaker. Sure, enough...

PamelaTracy said...

Edna,
Head on over to the romance site, I think you won last month's contest over there.

EllenToo said...

One reason I love suspense stories (and mysteries) is the foreshadowing the author puts in the story. I like trying to figure out "who done it" before all is revealed. Sometimes I am able to do so but sometimes not. And figuring it out doesn't ruin it for me. Talking about "Murder She Wrote" shows I remember one where a light bulb burned out and someone had to go into the basement to get a new one. Later the location of the light bulbs became the means of solving the crime.

jeaneintexas said...

It's been a long long time since I

jeaneintexas said...

It's been a long long time since I read it, but I remember reading
William Diehl's "Primal Fear" & it
was a great read. I didn't see the
ending coming, but, as I remember,
it was there if I had just caught it. This was made into a movie with Richard Gere & Edward Norton.
Very very well done movie.

jeanereads(at)sbcglobal{dot}net

Lisa Mondello said...

You know, I've yet to see Primal Fear so that's a good one to put on my Netflix list. Thanks for the recommendation!