Foreshadowing in Novels

Foreshadowing is a very important literary device in which crucial future events, or sometimes characters, are introduced early in a story in an indistinct or nonchalant way.  You don’t want to make it too obvious — you don’t want to give away the clues to your mystery or otherwise spoil the suspense.  Rather, foreshadowing can be useful to introduce either a character who becomes critical in a later scene, or a setting or circumstance that you will return to later on.  Basically, foreshadowing is the technique by which you introduce a minor thing that will become a major thing.  When executed properly, that major thing will not come as a surprise or appear to be a crutch, because, in an unrelated context, you’ve already presented that character/setting/circumstance to the reader.  Foreshadowing promotes suspense and page-turning.  And also trust from your readers.