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Questions tagged [flashback]

A piece of a work which is set before the "present."

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What are the dos and don'ts of using flashbacks, memories, dreams, and stories within a longer narrative?

There are many different ways for a writer to provide information about a character's backstory, for example: Flashbacks: The reader reads the scene as if transported back through time. Memories: The ...
BubbleQueen's user avatar
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Length of flashbacks during a dialogue and how to handle it?

Sometimes, you have two characters talking to one another and then as a character is about to describe what happened to the past, a flashback can be seen, and this is done in movies often. Now, I am ...
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"Normal world" as a flashback

I'm toying with the idea of starting off with the MC freshly landed in his new world. But I reveal the a) Normal World and b) Inciting incident using through two methods. 1. The Normal world is ...
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2 votes
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How to write a monologue that reveals a backstory?

My short story is from a third person POV, but I wanted to write a chapter in which the protagonist is doing a monologue that will tell details of her traumatic past, being kidnapped by a pedophile, ...
Nour Fourti's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
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What is a good justifying reason and timing for a flashback?

What is a good justifying reason and timing for a flashback? I noticed today that without a justifying reason and good timing that a flashback is just terrible. For example, in my story there's a ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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Does starting my story in the middle of the plot and then going back count as having a flash back or flash forward?

I am doing a writing assignment and I need to include either a flashback or a flash forward. I am starting my story in the middle of the plot and then going back and giving detail about what happened ...
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4 answers
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Should a flashback be written in first person or third when the narrator has lost his memory?

I'm writing a story where the main character wakes up on a boat with no memory, and throughout the story his past will be revealed, along with other characters in the story. It's written from the main ...
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Perfect tense for flashbacks - when can I skip it?

I have a question about tenses. Similar issues have been discussed in other threads, but I have a very specific question. Now, most stories (including the one I'm working on) are written in the past ...
Dave's user avatar
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Using multiple first-person narrators, should I do it or avoid it?

I'm writing a novel. My main character - Bob - is the first-person narrator. However the 2nd character - Larry, his travel buddy - has a few deep conversations with Bob. Bob tells anecdotes. They ...
porkramen's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
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When to place flashbacks?

I would like to use flashbacks in my novel. I am not sure when to place them - in the middle of a chapter, at the end of a chapter, as a chapter on its own. What are the advantages and common usages ...
ArtickokeAndAnchovyPizzaMonica's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is this sort of POV switch not recommended? [duplicate]

In an story I mentioned previously in past questions (Don't worry, nothing important that won't be explained here), I was going to have the protagonist go through a hero-to-villain arc and the ...
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My protagonist being needed for my story is a life changing event, does that mean the event needs to be in my story?

My protagonist is a first-generation native on a colony world. The general culture of the colony makes it clear that everyone must contribute to the colony in a meaningful way. But instead of ...
Leviathann's user avatar
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1 answer
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Transitions in a Story

I’m writing a historical fiction story set in the 1800s; the family has to move a lot when the protagonist is younger due to financial reasons, and the siblings often live out of state. In the second ...
user45004's user avatar
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how do I tell my main character’s backstory throughout the book?

I'm loosely working on a trilogy. Book One and Two are supposed to contain the main character’s backstory, divided by two parts that will be exposed accordingly: on book One, the first half, on book ...
jessythejessy's user avatar
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1 answer
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Writing Longer Flashbacks

In my story my MC has suffered a severe injury and has no recollection of who he was before it occurred. He knows what happened and where he was when it occurred as he was told by the people who found ...
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Any Tips On Writing Extended Recollection In A Novel

So, I've been working for about a month now on my latest novel but have come across some issues in regards to recollections of past events. I'll outline what I mean, because that's a bit general... ...
B. Guilford's user avatar
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2 answers
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Should the audience be immediately aware of the reason for a flashback?

In the pilot episode of "The Americans" Elizabeth has a flashback to something that happened twenty years earlier. Seeing her reflection triggers the flashback, but a reflection seems to have no ...
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Character had a different name in the past. Which name should I use in a flashback?

One of my characters has a flashback to when he was 5 years old. At the time, he didn't have a name (he goes by a physical description instead). What's the correct way to refer to him in this ...
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What effects do the different types of flashbacks produce?

Different types of "Flashbacks" In this question, the OP asks what the different types of flashbacks are, which of them is used the most and which is the most effective. He doesn't really ...
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Tackling backstory while writing multiple POVs

I am trying to write from multiple points of views with my first fiction book. I need to handle backstory (part of the overall plot) where all those multiple characters were involved in the events of ...
Murali Krishna's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
366 views

How can I start in media res and provide enough back-story to hook people, all in the first chapter?

My story (novella?) starts in media res, in the middle of the conflict that will set the rest of the story in motion. Currently I am "scene-cutting" between that event and some earlier events that ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
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2 answers
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How to show a short, sequential passing of time, without changing the scene [closed]

I was working on a story for practice; I have been putting it off for some time. I am extremely new to writing and honestly need to read more. I personally tend to think more like a movie camera, so I ...
Matthew T. Scarbrough's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
135 views

Formatting a dream inside a flashback

I'm writing a first-person POV in which my MC has flashbacks/memories of previous lives. As these happen several times throughout the novel, I use italics for these scenes to help the reader ...
poeticvampire's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
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How to write dialogueless flashbacks?

In my trilogy, the protagonist and deuteragonist share a mental link, allowing them to communicate with each other telepathically. A side effect of this telepathy is that they enable the duo to ...
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5 answers
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What is the role of "flashback" in my novel?

I start my Revolutionary War novel on August 21, 1780, when "boy meets girl." Specifically, the hero is rescued from British captivity by a bunch of guerrillas. One of these guerrillas takes him home ...
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How to show a flashback in a screenplay?

I’ve searched the questions and couldn’t find this. I don’t quite understand how to notate/show a flashback in a screenplay. Not just the format, but also the actual text and tense. I don’t know if ...
Matt's user avatar
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Writing flashbacks in novels

You would have seen many movies where the flow of the story goes in such a way - The present life of the protagonist - talks with someone / sees something - reminds him something of a past experience ...
HardikT's user avatar
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I’m considering adding a flashback to my script. Are they so bad?

I know that some people say flashbacks are to be frowned upon. But I’m in a situation where I feel a flashback could maybe be more effective. It’s a crime/drama/mystery. Basically, Greg has gone ...
Marcus Meier's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
100 views

What are great examples of fiction where characters draw on their past to make decisions in the present?

I am specifically wondering how to best blend the main character's past with the decision he faces in his daily working life and would like to explore different options (from direct blatant past vs ...
magnolia1's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
350 views

Flashback or Framing, does either work

After reading up on flashbacks, both on this site and others, I learned that flashbacks should be used sparingly since most readers enjoy a story from A to Z. I feel very strongly about having a form ...
curt1893's user avatar
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I've got too many flashbacks

A story riddled with flashbacks is a sign of weakness, unless it's a device. But, I'm finding that for my MC, she's flashing back a bit to the past, a bit more than I'd like, and mayhap at too much ...
Erin Thursby's user avatar
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1 vote
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Starting In The Middle And Flashing Back

Specifically, I want to know about whether or not it's okay to start at a point that gives a little bit away. In my story, the main character gets captured and that's the point I want to start at and ...
Lunar Eclyptica's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Different types of "Flashbacks"

In a novel, particurlarly fiction, what are the basic ways to reveal something that happened in the past? What ways, (flashback, protagonist telling, etc.) are the most used and most effective? ...
SpiralStudios's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
208 views

Which of the two cases of writing Flashback Stories is better?

I am currently working on a story which is based on a flashback event of life. I want the past scene to appear as a current phase to involve readers in my flashback event as if it is happening now. ...
Liz.'s user avatar
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3 answers
786 views

Present tense novel with past tense flashbacks

I'm currently writing a mystery novel in the third person present tense. I chose this to create more suspense as I like the idea that the reader is discovering things at the same time as the ...
Linda's user avatar
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2 answers
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Question about longer chapter length flashbacks

I'm working on a novel. The POV never leaves my main character (third person point of view.) Throughout the story he is given hints at a past life so to say. In reality the man has been alive since ...
Lokiie1984's user avatar
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1 answer
342 views

Flashbacks as chapters ordered (almost) chronologically

I just finished the first draft of my novel. From my previous question: Sushi Break A story about a girl who travels 3 hours every weekend to see her boyfriend (the boyfriend is doing an ...
wyc's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
259 views

Would it be annoying for the reader if the all the scenes alternate between "present" and flashback?

I'm writing a short story with the following structure: B tells A she is gravely sick and wants to be alone (present) A talks about how he met B in a hospital (flashback) A talks with his ...
wyc's user avatar
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2 votes
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Is it common for flashbacks to not to follow a chronological order?

I'm writing a short story with the following structure: Scene 1: Deshi and Yuqi are in a mountain searching for an abandoned amusement park (Present) Scene 2: Deshi talks about how he felt ...
wyc's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
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Is it necessary to make clear "when" an event occur in a flashback?

Few examples: Saki first became aware of her sixth finger at the age of five. Her aunt had come to visit the house that afternoon, bringing Rika (Saki's favorite cousin). (...) ...
wyc's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
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Is it unusual for a flashback to have a very long dialogue?

This flashback is from a short story I'm writing (unedited first draft): I met Limei last summer. Our class had organized a graduation trip to Green Island, where we stayed for fourteen days and ...
wyc's user avatar
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9 votes
7 answers
260 views

Getting details of a past century right

I have been gathering ideas for a novel. The basic idea is in place; the story combines two different eras but the same place. How do I get the little details about the place, the people, their life ...
Kuchiki Byakuya's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
624 views

Flashback or dream as a means of hinting at more going on than meets the eye

I plan to use a dream or flashback as a way to show the reader the story has more going on behind the scenes. As well to sprinkle in a little of my main characters back-story. I haven't written it ...
Lokiie1984's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
328 views

Do flashbacks break up short stories too much?

Recently, I wrote a short story that contains a flashback in the middle that was used to explain a major plot point in the story. Does a significant scene set as a flashback break up the flow of a ...
kuwaly's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
455 views

How to improve the ending of this short story (final scene + flashback)

This is sort of the continuation of this previous question. The full text is here (just in case). Sophia grabbed her bag, and headed towards an entrance in the corner of the room. She walked in, ...
wyc's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
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Should a long flashback be written in first or third person?

In my novel there will be a chapter-length flashback as one character relates a story from his past. The rest of the novel is written in limited third-person, seeing into one person's mind at a time. ...
Travis Christian's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
9k views

Should a flashback be in past tense or past perfect?

Assuming the story itself is in past tense, normally when I go further into the past I'd use past perfect: He had first met her at the grocery store, six months prior. However, which is more correct ...
Yamikuronue's user avatar
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