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Forshadowing Horror (1 Viewer)

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Do you believe that a horror story requires forshadowing? I'm working on a story it's my first horror story, and there is 0 foreshadowing before things go bad. After letting a friend read it they commented that it lacks forshadowing. Does a good horror story really require forshadowing?

What are your thoughts?


Senior Member
Does it need it? No. Might it help? Maybe.

In the end, you can foreshadow everything with the most complex symbols in the world, but that is still no replacement for the fear factor, real characters, good plot, and crafty writing.

Some horror stories thrive on it; others don't need it. It depends upon the story. I'm personally not big on foreshadowing, but I will use it when it is neccesary to improve a scene.

If you'd like, you could email it to me and I could give you my opinion. My email is in my profile.


Staff member
I think that Horror is one of the genres where forshadowing is almost mandatory. If your going for true horror, where you get the bejeepers scared out of you and wonder what is lurking just inside the shadows, then it is essential. It builds up the events, makes you wonder what thing is hiding and ready to grab you. Now, if what you consider horror is just the slasher, gory type of stories, going for shock value, then maybe it isn't as necessary. Only thing is, any story needs a certain amount of forshadowing to make the reader think things aren't happening just because.

The Man in Black

foreshadowing is pretty important to me in horror, I pretty much have the same oppinion as selorian


I don't think its necessary. I think you can build suspense without depending on a mechanism like foreshadowing. I particularly disagree with the assertion that ANY story requires foreshadowing. If you build characters well, and your narration is adequate, its simply not necessary.

I think, once you're done and going back over it, you may see that some things are connected... thematically or symbolically, but that's another animal.

It really depends on the strength of your story, Journey. Have you posted it here?

Xion Night

Senior Member
Some of the freakiest and horrific events occur without warning...That, I noticed, doesn't seem to apply solidly to stories. I think that horror stories shouldn't rely on foreshadowing, but suspense is a necessity(sp?) usually accompanied by foreshadowing.

Upcoming events, IMHO, should be shown with atmosphere and obscurely related events, Perhaps the tiniest of details.

Anyway, foreshadowing, isn't needed.


"Require" is such a strong word I find it hard to answer this.

Whichever way I answer it would be misleading.

There's no requirement for it as such, but it's one of many devices that you could use. Possibly an important one.

But not a requirement. Only if it suits your story. As long as you know where the tension and suspense is coming from, you'll be ok.


Senior Member
Saying that horror REQUIRES forshadowing is a bit extreme. But I do think foreshadowing is extremely important. This because the anticipation of a thing can be much much worse than the thing itself.


Senior Member
Well, I'm gonna come out and say it, taking all the disagreements head on. Yes, yes it is. If not required, then at least highly recommended. It helps put forth paranoia, and sets a creepy mood. Without it, horror comes off as pointless to me, and reminds me of a bad slasher flick. *Stands back and waits for backlash.*


Senior Member
No! It can be a useful tool, but it often gives the game away. I like to use a recurring motif - that can say so much without being a hammer on the head - ie a rose - hand on rose - bloody hand - rose petals - blood on the rose - rose perfume - perfume spray - then I use all these items in the story in a horrific way by showing rose petals used to make a perfume which is a nerve gas used by vampires to paralyze their victims - let the blood flow.


Senior Member
I love it when writers foreshadow. Especially when I know its coming, but I just don't know when, where, why, or how. It adds to the suspense and tension of the scene.
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