How Should You Format a Prophecy? Exploring Methods and Techniques

In any narrative, a prophecy can introduce thrilling elements of foretelling, guiding not only characters but also readers through unfolding events of intrigue, suspense, and possibilities. This guide seeks to offer a simplified process on how to format a prophecy in writing, equipping aspiring writers with the tools to create compelling predictions that resonate with their narratives. Let’s delve into the key points for placing prophetic lore into tales.

Clear Meaning

The starting point involves clarifying the intended meaning of your prophecy. It should be defined in a simple sentence that addresses its essence concisely. For instance, if your prophecy emphasizes ‘*the main character will be killed by a brother she didn’t know she had*’, it should be clearly thought out.


Symbolic Representation

Characters or events within a prophecy ought to be concealed in symbols. It’s a way of encoding the prophecy to sound less straightforward. In the afore-mentioned hypothetical example, the main character and the unknown brother can be replaced by opposing animals, for instance, a dove and a raven.


It is important to clothe events detailed in the prophecy in mystery. This mystification impedes clear interpretation of future occurrences thrusting mystery into your story. Use abstract symbols connected to your characters or events to achieve this effect.

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Misleading Elements

Engulf your prophecy in misdirection for it to appeal believable. When your characters are deciphering the prophecy, the obviousness of the predictions should not render the process unrealistic.


The prophecy, while following the above guidelines, should also reflect certain unique aspects of your characters’ personalities, actions, or appearances. As such, your prophecy becomes concealed in layers of personalized symbolism.

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Prophecy Language

The language adopted for your prophecy affects the mood and symbolic understanding of it. Every word counts. Vague, symbolic, yet engaging language adds intrigue to your prophecies.

Vagueness and Fallibility

Prophecies aren’t definite. The prophecy’s characteristics should reflect this inherent uncertainty. The chosen words should be vague enough neither to be too revealing nor to outrightly capsulate the ending of the narrative.

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Conformity to World Rules

Ensure your prophecy conforms to the established rules of your world. If your narrative incorporates magic, does it allow prophecy or not? If it doesn’t incorporate magic, how else is the prophecy justified?


Creating a compelling prophecy requires a blend of creativity, refined ambiguity, coded metaphors, symbolic representation, and the application of your world’s rules. Remember that prophecies in narratives should build suspense and not entirely predict outcomes. The guide avails an easy-to-follow blueprint to craft stirring predictions, thus ensuring your readers remain hooked to your thrilling story till its prophesied end. Harness these revealed techniques to breathe life into your prophecies.

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