The next day proved to be productive for Mia’s plot. She spent a lot of time in the word wars forum challenging random Wrimos. A “challenge random Wrimo” feature was built into that forum last year where a Wrimo wanting to war and challenge someone could challenge another Wrimo chosen at random from those who wanted to war. It was a clever conniption, and Mia enjoyed getting to know other Wrimos through the random selection word wars. Less enjoyable were the wars where the other word sprinter bailed before the competition began.
By the end of day three Mia’s enthusiasm for her novel had subsided substantially. She had an idea of what should happen next in her plot but no idea of how that would happen. Molly was supposed to meet Luke and then deep and philosophical things would happen, but what sort of deep things? This was something for Mia to figure out later.
Or was it? All good books, or at least most of Mia’s favorite books, had some form of foreshadowing in the beginning. Maybe it was time to explore that in the first draft, even though all of Mia’s NaNo attempts were written too quickly to take any sort of stab at foreshadowing.
After a word war on day three Mia found herself on an eraser bench outside the Shoutouts forum, and Molly and Luke had already met up.
“Hey, we need to make stuff happen, don’t we?” Molly asked.
“You could say that,” Luke replied. “But what sort of things are supposed to happen? I was the one raised in a supertight orphanage where they woudln’t let me do anything of real value at all, and that affected my worldview. You’re the one with the really exciting worldview here.”
“But you’re the one who’s supposed to affect mine as well,” Molly replied. “And that’s supposed to start now so when we get to the end of the book it’s not so much of a shock as it would be. Actually, it should still be a shock but the astute reader should be able to pay attention and say, wait a minute! I should have seen that coming. But they wouldn’t have seen that coming since they were too absorbed into the story to notice it.”
“So how are we supposed to apply this foreshadowing to the story?” Mia asked.
Molly pointed behind Luke. Sure enough, there was a shadow behind Luke. This shadow was otherwise unremarkable since the sun was shining, but it wasn’t shadowing in a direction that would have been appropriate according to the laws of science.
“Did someone apply an anti-science field?” Mia asked, pointing up behind Luke. “I don’t know that much science, but the sun’s over there. Luke’s shadow shouldn’t be right behind him.”
“That’s no ordinary shadow,” Luke said. “That’s a foreshadow. Better than a threeshadow, more exciting than a fiveshadow. It’s the shadow that you want to have in your novels.”
“The shadow I want to have in my novels?”
“Yep,” Molly replied. “Foreshadowing. You said it yourself. You wanted more foreshadowing in your novels, so here we go. We’re providing the shadows for you. Um, the foreshadows.”
“But are these shadows… um, foreshadows, just going to follow you wherever you go throughout the entire plot?” Mia asked. “Seems like they’d hurt. Did you just sew them on?”
“Well, sort of,” Molly said. “I was a pretty okay seamstress in my day. But we got a fairy to do it for us. Ignore the fact that this story takes place in the real world plus a few zombies. The Foreshadowing Fairy applied the foreshadows to us, and now we’re foreshadowing everything we do.”
There was still something wrong with the shadows, um, foreshadows, sewed onto Molly’s and Luke’s backs. Yes, there was now one on Molly’s back as well. “But they’re not the prettiest foreshadows,” Mia said. “Do they have to be there for the whole story?”
“No, and they shouldn’t be,” Molly said. “And that’s the beauty of the Foreshadowing Fairy. She can sew foreshadows on and off a character for free and she’s the best at it. You really don’t want the Plot Pirate to do it, especially with that hooked hand. That hooked hand may look like it could be a good needle, but really, it’s pretty awful at being a needle. I would rather have the foreshadowing fairy do it any day, especially since the foreshadowing fairy turns out to be good at well, actually foreshadowing.”
“But what if the foreshadowing is wrong?” Mia asked. “What if whatever gets foreshadowed in the beginning of the story gets completely ignored at the end of the story? Or worse, what if it gets contradicted?”
“This is your first time writing the story, isn’t it?” Luke asked. Mia nodded. “Well, if you keep writing us, that’s what the second version of the story is for. Take it out. You know who’s even better at sewing on these foreshadows?” Mia shook her head. “you are. You, the author of the story. You can sew the foreshadows on, and you can find all the little stitches that the foreshadowing fairy missed the first time and get them right. Sure, the foreshadowing fairy is good at what she does, but you! You are absolutely amazing at it.”
“So what you’re saying is that I should keep going and roll with whatever these foreshadows are, right?” Mia asked.
“Absolutely,” Molly replied.
“All right, fine,” Mia said. “So what’s in these foreshadows again and how do I write hem into my story?” She looked back at her computer screen, a novel open, and back at her word count. Seven thousand eight hundred eighty two words. It was time to rock the foreshadowing.
Ah, foreshadows. Luke and Molly know what they’re on to.
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