Lighting the way ahead

Today I wanted to talk a bit about this pic. It’s from my run (slow shuffle) yesterday. I was groaning and moaning when I saw it and thought ‘that’s not much use in the day.’


Then I thought:

But if it wasn’t there now it would be dark at night.

We’re pretty lucky in our area to have a well-lit path to run/walk/ride on and a council who thinks past the moment (which is hard for me when I’m running).

All that led me to thinking of foreshadowing in my story. If I’m going to need a lamp at ni9ght it bet5ter be there in the day. Now, for lights it’s mostly a given and they don’t need to be explicitly described if the character walks into the room in the day.

However that’s not true of other details.

It can be hard to think ahead while writing which is where editing can be lifesaver. If I need a special weapon or escape or whatever I can add it in (hopefully seamlessly). If I need a clue I can add it in to hint at what’s coming. The other option is to simply make the character use only what is there.

Sometimes there’s the magic where I don’t try to think of something but find my subconscious has done the foreshadowing for me. Cue happy dancing!

Do you think ahead like that when you read/write?

Can you tell when something’s been added later?




beck nicholas_ bec sampson


I always wanted to write. I’ve worked as a lab assistant, a pizza delivery driver and a high school teacher but I always pursued my first dream of creating stories. Now, I live with my family near Adelaide, halfway between the city and the sea, and am lucky to spend my days (and nights) writing young adult fiction.

Find me at my website:

Or on twitter @BeckNicholas


  1. One of the biggest concerns I always have while editing is that things I add in later will feel forced. I’m an impartial observer to say the least, as is anyone who read the first draft.
    I always try to plan ahead. I find it’s easier to remove unfulfilled foreshadowing than add it in later.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. I think there a lot of clues to our books hidden in our subconscious that are only revealed when it’s the right time. But I’m a pantser, so I rely on these golden moments of clarity to get to the end of my book lol. I don’t think there is anything wrong with adding it later, though. I find that the scenes always end up falling into place after I do, like it was meant to be all along.



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