F is for Foil (A literary device. Not aluminum foil.)

This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge. Every day (minus Sunday’s) during April in 2015 I will be making a post related to a literary device which starts with a particular letter of the alphabet. I have a general idea that these posts will be describing the same characters as they go through their lives, but I haven’t written all the posts yet so no promises!

Foil – is a character that shows qualities that are in contrast with the qualities of another character with the objective to highlight the traits of the other character. The term foil, though generally being applied for a contrasting character, may also be used for any comparison that is drawn to portray a difference between two things.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is an ideal example of foil since it’s simple; Jekyll’s foil is his other half Hyde. In the book the transformation between the two shows the battle between good v bad in all humans. That’s one of the main pluses of using a foil. It emphasizes one or more themes within ones story. A truly fantastic literary device when used correctly.

In my novel Moon Murder my detective character has a foil in the arm implant Genie (or G3N13). Their interactions show the constant struggles between humans and robots, the traditional v new age, and the detail oriented v the carefree. It wonderfully highlights my novels main themes, which is why every round of edits ends with me adding more interactions between these characters. As they build their relationship the story gets more meat because the themes are getting ever more engrained in the world.

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