the dark foreshadowing of him gambling his own life away and only having about 3 years left to live
his total lack of reactionto Mary hacking MI5
the ominous statement “I’ll always be there for you.”
Sherlock’s assertion that “Abstinence doesn’t equal surival”
Those things happening in Sherlock’s feverdream and MP tell me that Sherlock worries that Mycroft could die, maybe because he can’t do anything about Mary. It also shows that Sherlock doesn’t want to lose Mycroft.
The fact that in reality Mycroft asks John to take care of Sherlock worries me even more. He seems to fear his own imminent death as well and wnts to make sure Sherlock will be safe.
I was wondering if you had any advice for writing (ancient) prophecies?
EDIT: I was informed more than once of using a poor example relating to religion, for which I deeply apologise. Whilst I can’t erase the passage from previous reblogs, part of this article has been edited to avoid causing future offence.
The thing about prophecies is that not many people like them… Not only are they clichéd, but they’re a very ham-fisted way of motivating your characters. If they have no choice about the outcome of events, your main character kind of has to do the thing, even if they don’t want to. It takes away their agency, and not many people can get behind a character that is dragged from one place to another where their choices have little or no impact on the direction of the story.
That said, you shouldn’t let this stop you from writing a prophecy in your own work. There are ways you can mix-up the whole prophecy trope, or alter it so that it doesn’t have too great of a command over your story:
Leave Out the Specifics
The more specific you make the prophecy, the less wiggle room your main character(s) have to make their own choices. Maybe the end will always remain the same, but what about everything in between? If your prophecy details everything from the beginning to the end, then where are the surprises? Where is there room for character development?
Try to keep your prophecy free from absolute specifics so your characters have room to breathe a little.
Vaguely Does It
Just because your character receives a prophecy, that doesn’t necessarily mean they interpret it correctly. It doesn’t mean they have absolute knowledge of everything in their world to draw on, and therefore know for sure the prophecy relates to something specific to them.
One of the best prophecy plot twists I’ve read so far is in John Lenahan’s Shadowmagic. To save on the spoilers, I recommend you just go read it and get an understanding of what I mean by this segment in writing. You should also (if you haven’t already) check out Shakespeare’s Macbeth, for a further example of a prophecy misinterpreted.
Lost In Translation
Since you’ve specifically asked about an ancient prophecy, there are all sorts of ways you can have fun with it. Something that is ancient will have very little relevance in a modern-day society.
Think about how certain kind of key areas, places or people mentioned within the ancient prophecy might appear in a different time frame. How does it affect the interpretation? What might your characters overlook or struggle to understand? This will involve a certain degree of choice from your cast and will allow them to manipulate their own story, even with the overarching consequences of the prophecy in tow.
Don’t Make It the Absolute Focus
Character interactions, backstories, small subplots… all of these can exist alongside a prophecy and contribute towards a rich world and plot. If you can pull in these other elements to live alongside the predestined outcome, your readers may feel more part of a journey than an observer to a documentation of events.
In some stories there are some pretty big plot twists, such as the MC's love interest being the "villain" and in another the MC kills the love interest, how do I foreshadow it so it doesn't seem outta left field but it still isn't predicted
I can’t tell you exactly because it depends on your story, but here’s some great links that I hope will help you: