marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

fortune-telling and foreshadowing

One story opens on the first day of a new year -- no, take that back, during the night -- a good liminal time, excellent for having the characters resort to ways to discern the future and get your foreshadowing cheap.

The predictions will, of course, have to be true, even if the characters woefully misinterpret them.  Great rule in fiction:  no matter how relentlessly mundane your story is, when you tell your fortune, it has to be true.  Few plot twists more difficult to pull off than a falsified prediction, even if few are harder to work with than a true one.

Vague.  Vague is good.  Especially since the techniques used are good at vague, which lets people put their wishful thinking through its paces.  "Prosperity" -- "fell magic on the loose" -- "battle" -- so much room for imagination.

But on the other hand, I also devised more than one technique.  To characterize.  Some characters use the old ways, involving stones with special virtues, and others traffic with spirits.  Except that when I started to write one of the trafficking ones, it involves the stones. . . perhaps I ought to revise it even in the outline to make them more distinct.
Tags: beginnings, characterization, foreshadowing, world-building: magic (technique)
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