I don’t just dislike it a little bit; whenever I read it, I get an icky taste in my mouth.
This is why:
- I already know something big is going to happen. It’s a book. That’s how it works.
- After reading the back cover, I probably know the big thing you’re foreshadowing.
- When you foreshadow, you run the risk of disappointing your readers. I just finished a book that went on and on about how the MC is afraid of burning in hell for the terrible things she’s done. When I read what she did, I thought, “That’s it?”
- I like being surprised. Doesn’t everybody?
- It isn’t true to life. I don’t get any foreshadowing, so why should my characters? When I discover things at the same pace as the character, I feel like I’m along for the ride.
- It pulls me out of the story. Because it isn’t true to life, foreshadowing reminds me, “Oh yeah, this is a book and an author is writing it. It isn’t real.”
- It’s always so melodramatic. Foreshadowing usually reads like this: “Little did I know that this small action would destroy everything I hold dear,” or “This should have been a sign to me that my life was about to change for the worst,” or even, “If I had known what lay in store for me, I would have prayed for God to take my soul then and there.” For heaven’s sake. Lighten up.
I predict that many lovers of foreshadowing will argue with me on this. Since I honestly don’t understand foreshadowing, I look forward to hearing your points.