11

The reader needs a connection when transitioning into the flashback. That transition can be either external or internal. By external, I mean introducing the flashback. In this case, the reader knows who's in the flashback so you can use the then-current name without any more explanation. For example: As he drifted off to sleep, Bob recalled the first time ...


7

That's tough, it sounds like a hundred page wall of dialogue to me. To eliminate most of it, I'd resort to flashback. Flashbacks are not that popular anymore; but they would be better than an endless wall of dialogue or thoughts. For flashback, write the recollection as a story, with a neutral narrator, third person omniscient limited, focused on the ...


6

Depending on how you want to play that, both ways are viable. You could explicity tell that the character hadn't a name then: Ai remembered when the fire nation attacked. Of course, she hadn't the luxury of having a name back then. Living as a scrawny little street-urchin, there were very few people who cared enough to speak to her, and most did with "...


5

SIDENOTE: Most writers seem to agree that writing the backstory for yourself is important, and this can be an important first step toward the goal you've expressed here. I encourage you to write those backstory scenes for yourself. You say that your characters are all involved in an event, but separately from each other, and that it is backstory--happened ...


5

If you're writing from the patient's POV, it's probably easier. You can show the patient's unfiltered reactions and thoughts to the doctor's questions before writing the patient's answer. "So, when was the first time that happened?" "A month ago," he said automatically. The doctor made a note and he frowned, the confidence of a moment ...


5

Because it's such a dramatic moment, it feels like a wasted opportunity to leave it entirely "off-camera." But it doesn't necessarily make sense to start your story there if the main action is going to take place after a gap in time. I'd suggest that you start your story right before the action begins, and then bring in the backstory as needed and ...


4

I think the important question is not whether this qualifies as a "flashback" by some technical definition, but rather whether you make it clear to the reader what is going on. I've occasionally read books where there was a flashback and I was well into it before I realized it was a flashback. I started getting confused, saying to myself, "Wait, I thought ...


4

Flashbacks are fine and used all the time. In film in particular, this is part of "show don't tell" the story, and what that phrase originally meant: Anything you want to say, try to put in action and scene instead of dialogue. Just this last year I must have seen half a dozen shows that begin with somebody saying (essentially) "This is what happened..." ...


4

According to http://www.storysense.com/format/flashbacks.htm, you should bookend it with "BEGIN FLASHBACK" and "END FLASHBACK" as action lines, and then treat it as any other new scene, even if it is the same location. Changing tense is not necessary. BEGIN FLASHBACK INT - ROGER'S HOUSE (1980) - NIGHT [flashback scene] END FLASHBACK INT ...


4

You can't have your cake and eat it too. I don't think your opening is in media res if it's cut with exposition flashbacks and the conflict hasn't started yet. To me that sounds like the opposite of in media res. Diverting away from the main conflict for any reason breaks in media res. Making assumptions by reading between the lines, I perceive the ...


4

Third person within viewpoint is not omniscient, but limited to the viewpoint character. I'll tackle a few of the types of flashbacks you've mentioned, but first will add in my personal favorite, which you didn't mention. Narrative weaving. I'll bold the backstory below: "You can't be serious." Her mother had always said to beware of boys from the ...


4

A crucial question: does the psychiatrist contribute anything to the story, or is he mainly the setting, the excuse as it where, for your protagonist to tell the story? If the psychiatrist makes no meaningful contribution, you can have considerable chunks of your story in first-person narration, no interruptions by the psychiatrist. Let the readers all but ...


4

For me, the key questions are: who is telling the story; when are they telling the story, and why are they telling the story. If I know the answers to those questions, then I can work on what the narrator knows and when they know it. This narrator is a stand in for the reader. They control what we see and when we see it (and a lot more as well). I think of ...


3

The determining criteria will be how much information the reader needs. Generally you want to use flashback for a few reasons. 1) Need to know protag and/or context for emotional impact. A battle scene may not make much sense to the reader/viewer if you open with it: Everybody in it is a stranger, the reader doesn't know or symapathize with your character, ...


3

I can think of at least two detective shows - Without A Trace and Cold Case - that do this multiple times per episode, as part of their general structure. As long as it's made clear that it's a flashback (for example, a fade-to-white transition before and afterwards), I don't see any problem with you doing this.


3

The best selling book on Amazon is the new stormlight archive book by Sanderson. It's the third of three, and a thousand pages that is entirely structured around a single character in present time and whatever bad thing happened prior. 1 in 3 chapters is a flashback. The name of the wind, by rothfuss is largely only flashback. The prestige (possibly ...


3

Two Things To Focus On There are two things that come to play here: In Media Res : In the middle of the action What Is Your Actual Story? In Media Res As I'm sure you know, In Media Res is the idea that to draw the reader in you must start right in the middle of the action. Readers don't want to sit through 50 pages of backstory to get to the story. ...


3

Interesting question. Here's my take: Dialogue "So in ninety-one, I was following the Grateful Dead around the country. I swear, the last two minutes of 'Black-Throated Wind' from that MSG show was one of the highlights of human history." Third-person omniscient information dump Fans of the musical band the Grateful Dead widely regard their show from 9/...


3

Keep in mind that cinema and novels are two completely different media, and deserve their own techniques and rhythms. Quick cuts are easy to do with visual cues, but harder to pull off when everything must be created in the reader's mind. However, if you're determined to do this, a few small things can help. For your simultaneous scenes, first clearly ...


3

Give the location of the scenes as the chapter/scene headers. If the present-time scenes are in MC 1's house and the flashbacks are in a local coffeehouse (for example), your readers will be able to piece together which scenes go where and they'll know that they are different timelines (since they have some of the same characters). Indicate the timing ...


3

So, you have a lot of flashbacks? This indeed can be confusing. Typically, this can be organized in two ways: Relevant flashbacks. Each flashback is connected to the "present" plot, either giving it a subtle (or not so subtle) push in new direction, or providing an important "reveal" or even twist. Flashback plotline. Flashbacks are ...


3

I've read a couple of stories where there are two storylines in roughly alternate chapters, from different time sections of the same narrative - I think 'Holes' by Louis Sachar did this to a certain extent (although it's ages since I read it) - the 'main' story is about a boy dealing with a curse of some kind, while the secondary 'earlier' story is about his ...


3

Can I use multiple first-person POVs? Yes. Of course, you can use multiple first-person POVs... you just do it... But how do you do it? The biggest problem with multiple "I"'s in the story is going to be reader confusion. How do you make sure the reader knows who's narrating on every page, even in every sentence? What I've seen of multiple first-...


2

If you mean 1900s I recommend the 1904 Sears catalogue as a resource material. It shows what items were common in that period. Just do research, but decide if this is a full immersion historical fiction or if you just want colour. I noticed when reading archived newspapers that journalists often used vocabulary that would be considered more advanced than ...


2

I recommend Damon Runyon's short stories to you. All of them are written in the present tense, and there are plenty of flashbacks. Tobias the Terrible One night I am sitting in Mindy's restaurant on Broadway partaking heartily of some Hungarian goulash which comes very nice in Mindy's, what with the chef being personally somewhat Hungarian ...


2

This is an interesting question. However, there's one thing confusing me. As far as I can tell, if I were to read a flashback, I would prefer reading one in the past tense because when talking about flashbacks you're actually talking about a sudden incident where you're in a current situation and something triggered a past memory, hence triggering a ...


2

It's completely fine. This technqiue is known as in medias res, "in the middle of things." If you've written it correctly, it shouldn't lessen the tension because we should be invested in the character and now we want to know how she got into that mess.


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