Questions tagged [flashback]

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

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3answers
267 views

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... ...
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2answers
74 views

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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2answers
706 views

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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1answer
76 views

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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2answers
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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 ...
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3answers
188 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 ...
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2answers
81 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
63 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 ...
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3answers
237 views

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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5answers
231 views

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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1answer
1k views

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 ...
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3answers
199 views

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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
82 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 ...
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3answers
166 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 ...
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2answers
275 views

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 ...
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2answers
81 views

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 ...
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3answers
818 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? ...
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4answers
173 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. ...
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3answers
508 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 ...
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2answers
132 views

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 ...
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1answer
229 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 ...
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2answers
194 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 ...
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4answers
927 views

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 ...
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3answers
269 views

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). (...) ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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7answers
220 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 ...
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1answer
362 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 ...
3
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1answer
311 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 ...
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1answer
414 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, ...
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3answers
4k views

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. ...
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2answers
7k 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 ...