The last time I discussed avoiding deus ex machina scenes by foreshadowing. It occurred to me that I may have given short shrift to exactly what foreshadowing is. But, first, a little review may be in order.
Deus ex machina is a plot device in which your protagonist, placed in a hopeless situation, is suddenly, dramatically and inexplicably rescued by some outside force (see my last two blogs).
OK, now that we’re up to speed let’s tackle foreshadowing. Webster’s Dictionary defines foreshadow as “to give a suggestion of (something that has not yet happened)”. In writing foreshadowing is some information or action early along that hints at a big scene or the climax of your story.
Foreshadowing not only avoids deus ex machina, it increases the tension in your novel. Your reader’s anxiety level rises as she anticipates a slam-bang ending.
Examples of foreshadowing:
Use foreshadowing in your writing to avoid those awkward deus ex machina moments and to ramp up the suspense for your reader. They’ll keep reading and, more importantly, they’ll look forward to your next book.