If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. —Anton Chekhov
This quote by Chekhov is the basis of foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is a literary device that allows you to plant clues, hint at what’s to come, build the tension, or even place a red herring in your reader’s path.
You can use foreshadowing in a variety of ways. The resulting action can be immediate or delayed. Foreshadowing can feed the tension of a scene. You can use dialogue or narrative to set the scene, and you can foreshadow a symbolic event or an ethical dilemma. You can use direct or indirect foreshadowing, and it can even be true or false.
Below are when to use foreshadowing, the major turning points in your novel, tips and how to master foreshadowing.