January 18, 2012 at 5:12 pm #3236
I’m planning a novel that will rely on events of the past to move the plot forward. How do you feel about flashbacks? Should they be kept to a minimum? Should past events be revealed through dialogue?
Let me know what you think.January 22, 2012 at 9:54 pm #5576
I’m reading a book that does that right now. At first I was annoyed by it – the flashbacks are an adults characters childhood. But they help us to understand the character gradually and I actually think it’s a very clever writing technique. I would say make sure that each one is completely necessary, moves the story forward and is kept short. Mt $0.02 🙂January 22, 2012 at 10:45 pm #5577
I agree with Laura. Flashbacks can be awesome but it does stop the current events of your story. Everything gets put on hold..but as long as the flashback is necessary, then I would be okay with it.January 23, 2012 at 10:08 pm #5578
I was planing on putting in a few flashbacks as well. one is not completely necessary, but shows a more sensitive side of my main character. its kind of thought/flashback. She is attempting to get revenge on her uncle for killing her father and in tern her mothers suicide. At the end of chapter two she thinks back to when she was small and would clime into bed with them after a frightening dream. what are your thoughts?January 27, 2012 at 1:57 am #5579
I’m currently reading a book that uses flashbacks a lot. Like Laura, I found it disconcerting at first but they do help with the characterization.
The ones I have planned for my novel are integral to the plot and I don’t think the story can be written without them. I guess I’m a bit afraid I’m not up to the task.January 27, 2012 at 2:00 am #5580
sinsoftheflesh, I would be wary of including a flashback that isn’t necessary. Maybe the fact that she climbed into bed with them after scary dreams could be included in the story another way; maybe inner dialogue when she’s in a precarious situation in the present.January 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm #5581
That’s not a bad idea. I thought I would use it to close the 2nd chapter because chapter three she attempts to kill her uncle who killed her father. after her fathers death her mother killed her self, so she blames him for both. seance I wrote it I have bin stuck. It wouldn’t be bad to save it and see if it fits better elsewhere. Thank you for your advice.January 28, 2012 at 6:45 pm #5582
You’re welcome. Glad I could help.February 1, 2012 at 1:04 am #5583
Sorry I’m late to the party, but I did want to chime in on this topic. You’ve stated that your flashbacks are an important part of your plot and story, so I say go with it. There are different ways to incorporate flashbacks so that it’s not jolting but flows. You just have to figure out what works best for you. Also, if you’ve come up with this idea then I encourage you to trust your talents and instincts to be able to execute everything properly. If you’re unsure of exactly how to write the flashbacks then do a little research of how other people have done it and maybe one will work for you.
I used flashbacks in my novel and I had concerns with it to, mainly because I wasn’t sure how to do it without just italicizing each flashback. I Googled different ways of incorporating flashbacks and found really good resources, ways and explanations of other ways to do it. Hope this helps some. (Sorry for the ramble.)February 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm #5584
I don’t mind a few flashbacks, but after a while they can become annoying. I try to make my characters get lost in their own thoughts more often than they have flashbacks. We all get into our own thoughts sometimes. If past information is needed, you can work it into back story, which by the way, isn’t a dirty word as far as I’m concerned.February 21, 2012 at 10:06 pm #5585
rhlh627 ramble all you like. I’m a rambler too. 😉 I’ve been researching flashbacks and how to incorporate them.
bodicea, I think a lot of it will be the character getting lost in thought because most of it is backstory.
The backstory is what motivates one of the main characters in present day so I pretty much have to use flashbacks or character thought for it to make sense.
Thanks to everyone for the wonderful feedback.March 14, 2012 at 6:01 am #5586
I actually enjoy flashbacks as long as they are obvious. I read a book once where the character had a flashback twice and both the times the author didn’t feel it important to say it was a flashback. Was very confusing. Depth is good, but not at the cost of leaving the reader bewildered.
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