1. wolfenburg
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    wolfenburg Member

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    Flashback Story Elements

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by wolfenburg, Sep 7, 2013.

    So I'm in the middle of writing this short that's turning out to not be so short anymore....

    Anyways, you know how you can discover your story as much as you crate it? Well that's what has happened and I need to create a quick flashback sequence to emphasize the significance of of a character's relationship to the protagonist. I need to insert this into a faster paced part of the story. I know how this can bog down the action and progression of the story, but I'm confident its powerful enough to carry its own weight.

    My question is simple. Should I just insert the flash back as italicized text after a cue, then write it in past perfect tense? Or is there a better way to go about it?

    It's not vital and I can figure it out during rewrite, but any suggestions would help. Thanks. TGIF!
     
  2. EmmaWrite
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    EmmaWrite Member

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    I don't think it needs to be italicized. The cue and the switching of the tenses should be enough for the reader to catch on.
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I would insert it as a separate chapter, even if it's short. But another options is having a character recall a past event. What needs to be clear to the reader is the fact you are in a different time/place. Italics are not going to do that just as a way to note a flashbacks.

    And if it is a single flashback to tell a single thing, I'd probably find another way to reveal whatever it is you want to reveal.
     
  4. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    I'm having issues with flashbacks too. There are three events that precede the bulk of my story that need to be addressed in some detail. I have some idea how I'm going to do it... one, I'm going to cue using a sound to spark the character's memory of the event. One is going to be revealed, when one of the secondary characters is caught gossiping and put straight, the other... hmmm... I'm still trying to work that one out.

    I tried the italicised route, and wasn't happy with it. I've found it better to try and stick all the info into the main text in a more organic way, rather than hauling the reader from the bulk of the story.
     
  5. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If you are unsure, experiment. I tend to keep flashbacks quite short and embedded in the text instead of italicizing or adding a seperate mini-chapter. The tense is usually past perfect. This has worked for me, maybe something else serves your story better. Difficult to tell without context or examples.
     
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  6. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Separate the block of text with asterisks if it's a short story. Like this,
    * * *​
    And then I told them how to separate text blocks.
     
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  7. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    I put in little snippets of the tow scenes back and forth with each other, witht he flashback as italicized and the thoughts in the flashback as normal text. it adds intensity.
     
  8. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    As you can see, there're many ways to do it :) Maybe post an example of such a scene to the workshop to get more specific feedback?
     
  9. wolfenburg
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    wolfenburg Member

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    Thanks for the feedback everybody. I don't qualify to post in the workshop yet. But I may do that If I don't figure out a way I like by then. I suppose I'll just create a mini chapter for it. Oh wow its like 1400 lines so far. Probably better make a separate chapter for it :eek:
     
  10. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    Separate chapter is good enough even though it might fracture the pacing a bit
     
  11. HarleyQ.
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    HarleyQ. Just a Little Pit Bull (female)

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    I think it depends on how long it is. It sounds like giving the flashback its own chapter is the right approach, though.
     
  12. wolfenburg
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    wolfenburg Member

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    Yeah after writing it out its about 1400 lines. I'm going to trim it up, but a separate chapter sounds about right.
     

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