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Literary Techniques: Atmosphere, Symbolism, Foreshadowing, Flashback, and Plot Twist

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  • Authors use other literary techniques in their writing to convey their message or messages as well. Unlike figurative language though, these techniques are more than just one word or phrase. These techniques deal with the plot or represent abstract ideas within the plot.


    Atmosphere is the general feeling the writing gives. Atmosphere ties directly back to the one of the elements we discussed. Do you remember which one? Mood! Authors create atmosphere through word choice, their tone, the setting, and how the characters interact.


    Symbolism is when an author uses a character, action, setting, or an object to represent a bigger idea. Whatever the symbol though, it must be tangible and the idea it represents must be abstract. For example, generally in our every day lives, a dove is a symbol of peace.


    Foreshadowing is when an author proves the reader hints or clues for what is going to happen later in the story.


    Flashback is when the author interrupts the plot to recreate an earlier event. This is most often used to give the reader more information or to remind the reader of something.

    Plot Twist

    Plot twist is when the author makes an unexpected change in the direction of the plot or the outcome of the plot. 

    Think you have them all?







    Works Cited

    Stevenson, Jeanne. "Literary Techniques: Foreshadowing." 8 November 2013.