Ever since I signed up for my trip to Venice, I’ve happened upon a bunch of mentions of the city and the country of Italy online and in the traditional media. Articles in film magazines, a spread in the travel section and this photo on Jezebel.
I’m sure there’s already a scientific name for the phenomenon of constantly seeing reminders of something that has new-found meaning for you – and if you know it I’d love to hear it – but my assistant Chris just calls it “beforeshadowing.”
Unlike foreshadowing which is a series of hints leading up to a revelation, beforeshadowing is top heavy, with the details sprinkled throughout the story after we find out what’s what.
As an exercise, think about what type of film you’re writing. Do you use foreshadowing to slowly build to a revelation, like in The Usual Suspects or Shattered or The Sixth Sense or are you working with beforeshadowing like in Moon or The Hangover, where you know the twist near the beginning of the story and reveal the details of what and why along the way.
Once you’ve decided where your “twist” is, the beginning or the end, take a minute to consider what your story would be like the other way. You might be surprised at what you find.
Good luck and happy writing.