Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Monday, January 25, 2016

#RRBC #Spotlight: Gordon Bickerstaff!! :-)

Hey Everyone! :-)

Gordon Bickerstaff is here today with a Spotlight post from RRBC!  Gordon, take it away! :-)

Blog 2 Writing a trilogy – Foreshadowing

The next most important aspect for a trilogy, and one I also find enjoyable, is foreshadowing: building in to the first two books the signposts that allude to events that will occur in the third. This is fun because you can lead the reader in one direction and they will guess what is going to happen then twist the story so it goes elsewhere. I love doing that. You can, of course, do that within each book. For a trilogy, it is extra important.

“The trick is to make the foreshadowing an invisible part of the book story arc – not an add-on.”

There is brilliant foreshadowing in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series; the horcrux is a brilliant example. In the first Star Wars movie, Obi-Wan knew that Vader was Luke’s father, so Obi-Wan’s dialogue reflects that knowledge. That writing was so good that, when it was finally revealed, it felt like confirmation of what was already suspected – that Vader was his father. In the Gavin Shawlens series, the foreshadowing starts in Bk1 in several story arcs, and the trick is to make the foreshadowing an invisible part of the book story arc – not an add-on.

I think Bk2 in a trilogy is pivotal for the foreshadowing to get serious. I decided the book story arc in my second book Everything To Lose was not simply a waiting platform for Bk3. So it has its own start, beginning and end. But if you know where you are going to end up in Bk3 then Bk2 is the place to rack up the tension, deepen the mystery. So, Everything To Lose foreshadows the nightmare that is set to run through The Black Fox.

After the book story arcs have been completed, the last couple of chapters in Bk2 develop the trilogy arc, started earlier in the book, and let the reader know exactly what is at stake and what the main protagonists are prepared to pay to get what they want. This racks up the tension – and pitches the wit of a single woman against the mighty US military and the CIA.

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Twitter handle: @ADPase


  1. Hey, Gordon! Congratulations again on being chosen for the #RRBC spotlight. And thank you for all the support you've given me personally. I appreciate you.

    Do you see a difference in planning or foreshadowing in a series vs. a trilogy or would it be the same? I'm not much of a planner or outliner. I'm more of a panster although I do plan a little more than I used to be. I do character sketches and a short synopsis of what I want to happen. But I don't do any of that until the story is started. I seem to lose interest if I know too much about where the story is going. It does cause more editing and rewrites during the end. The only time I did a detailed a chapter outline is the first and only time I got writer's block.

  2. Hi Kim, many thanks for your comments. I have felt at home in RRBC thanks to your support. Interesting point. I think that a trilogy does confine the characters to the events within the trilogy whereas in a series, the characters and the events can continue to develop. I decided in Bk 4 'Toxic Minds' to make a clean break from the events of Bks 1-3. The main characters continue, but I now have a new clean sheet of paper, and each new book will add something to the characters and their activities. The exciting thing is there is more freedom to experiment.

  3. Foreshadowing is fun as you suggest. I hope you enjoy the rest of your tour.

    1. Thanks, John. Having a great time on the tour.

  4. Gordon, The planning and foreshadowing is great fun, but I love when it's accidental, too! In my first book, Haunting Megan, I had the protagonist running a football betting pool at work. In Haunting Sarah, that little, unplanned paragraph becomes a key plot point.
    Thanks for your insight!
    Here's to many more readers who discover you in your "SPOTLIGHT" Week!

  5. Well-planned books are key to foreshadowing for certain. If not, it might be a little more difficult to go back and insert the appropriate content and do it so it's subtle. Nice article. Enjoyed it.

  6. Thanks Rebecca C. I always have fun working out the foreshadowing.

  7. Gordon, I don't know whether I will ever write a series, but if I do, I must remember this lesson on foreshadowing. Very interesting! Did you foreshadow your book 2 in your book 1? I suppose, I should read Book 2 to find out. :) Good luck! Thank you Mistral for hosting him.

  8. Joy, yes there is some foreshadowing. I had to hold myself back from adding in too much!

  9. Did you go to school to learn how to write a trilogy or does it all just come naturally? Its all so fascinating.

    Good luck on your tour Gordon.

  10. Hi Shirley. I was trained to plan as part of my job so it was natural for me. I think anyone starting out on a trilogy or series would simply split their story into parts and decide what story arcs to reveal over the piece. Then build on that skeleton.