Yes. I am going to create another n00by guide.
Prophecies are usually at the center of most- if not all- Warriors books. They don't always have to appear in fan fictions, but if you are planning to create a story around a prophecy, this is a guide to creating an effective prophecy. If used well, they create an air of mysteriousness an excitement to the story. If not used well, they can bore the reader and make the entire story pointless.
So if you want a good prophecy to enhance your plot, read on, my friends!
Uses of Prophecies
When Prophecies Are Used
The first prophecy was used in the Into the Wild Arc. Spottedleaf received a message from StarClan in the form of a shooting star. She interpreted it to mean that "fire will save the Clan." And who was fire but out beloved Gary-Stu Firestar. The prophecy was important in the whole Arc because Firepaw/heart/star was going to save the Clan from destruction, become leader, and make everyone happy.
In my opinion, prophecies are a warning, or a foretelling that something will happen. Usually, the cats never guess what it means until the last moment, but that's not always the case, such as the Prophecy of Three. Prophecies tell of a savior, a bad event, and put the receiver on their guard. They are often received in dreams or visions.
Another example of a prophecy is "blood will spill blood and the lake will run red,"- Sunset. This prophecy was about Brambleclaw killing Hawkfrost, and the latter's blood very disgustingly turning the lake 'red'. It sounds pretty dark, doesn't it? Even if the cats didn't know what it meant, they were still watching for something bad to happen.
The Difference Between Omens and Prophecies.
As defined by the dictionary, a prophecy is " a prediction of what will happen in the future." The 'fire will save the Clans' prophecy is predicting the future of the Clans... some sort of 'fire' is going to save them.
As defined by the dictionary, an omen is "an event regarded as a portent of good or evil." In other words, an action or occurrence that is a sign. For example, in Bluestar's Prophecy, the vole with the flattened fur was an omen to Goosefeather that the cats had to attack WindClan. It was not foretelling the future. He took it as a bad omen, which meant that he saw something negative in the vole with flattened fur.
We can define a prophecy as a 'will happen' and an omen as a 'now event'.
When not to Use Prophecies
When creating your prophecy, it is very annoying to the readers if they guess it as soon as they read it and have to put up with the character's confusion throughout the whole plot.
This is how to create a bad prophecy. Example of what not to do:
Perhaps your story is about an unlikely hero. An unpopular, skinny, unattractive tom named Foxear. He will bring the Clan out of a bad bout of greencough by discovering a secret store of catmint (THIS IS A BAD PLOT I KNOW OKAY). StarClan sends a prophecy (foretelling of the future- not an omen!) to the medicine cat (who is frazzled and overworked) saying that:
The fox's ear will find the cat's mint! The fox's ear will save the Clan!
Such. An awful. Prophecy. Even if the medicine cat doesn't know it yet, the reader knows immediately. Especially if you open the story with Foxear's POV. Even if they don't, it will immediately confirm who it is when the next chapter is written from Foxu's POV.
If you want your prophecy to be utterly obvious, it has to be for a reason! There are plenty of instances in Warriors where the cats had a sneaking suspicion of who the prophecy was talking about. And that's okay, but it has to be used effectively. If you are going to spend the whole story with the medicine cat trying to discover who it is, you will bore your audience to tears. Guaranteed.
I don't recommend using the prefixes of cats in the story. It's just really annoying and obvious.