1. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    FlashBack?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by GuardianWynn, Nov 13, 2014.

    Recently the muse has taken me for one heck of a ride. One of the reasons I joined this site.

    And while waiting for the 2 weeks to post actual material I wrote I am wondering if the themes I have or currently have seem fitting.

    The idea is a theme of redemption, a character in death begins to dwell on all the evil they had done in life, thinking about not only what they had done but what had drove them to do it.

    My main concern currently is thinking about the style that flashbacks give, wondering it it compliements it, or not. Also sort of concerned since my current thinking led me to believe I a probably going to have to tell the audience that the character was dark and then show them just how dark / why she was dark.

    A site like this with so many critical thinkers. Any advice thoughts to give me while sleep aludes me?
     
  2. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not quite sure what you're saying...If you mean that you'll write "Mary was a person with a dark past. She could remember that occasion when she had wished Dave was dead, and meant it..." you tell me if you think that reads better with or without the first sentence! As with everything, it's how you do it. Best thing is to write it and then read it back after a decent time, and see if it still sounds good.

    On the theme of reading back, I've read a few of your posts, and you seem to be thinking it, typing it, posting it, without even glancing through, so that a lot of typos reach the page. You're even ignoring the little highlight that should have told you that compliements is not a word that the spell-checker recognises.

    The problem for us "critical thinkers" is when what you've posted isn't altogether clear, as in "character in death" - do you mean "character who is dead"?
     
  3. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Dang, and I thought I had avoided making typos. :cry:
    It isn't showing any red my computer? It is kind of old and as such sometimes doesn't register a button I push.
    Yeah, I usually do it like that to, think type post. Is that bad? Sometimes check for typos with more effort.

    Allow me to clarify.

    Currently I have 3 projects in my mind. All in he same universe. Just different vantage points. This one is about a Girl named Kerrin. She was a high level demon, that did a lot of bad things. The idea of the story that I am so interesting in thinking about at the moment is, that after she died that she began to reflect on her life. So yes she is dead. So I figured instead of showing a story in chronological order, that I would start with her dead reflecting on her life. Which would use flashbacks as a writing style.

    Does that clarify my position? Did I miss a step?
    Thank you for feedback :)
     
  4. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's probably just me, but I'll always re-read a post to make sure that it says what I want, and I'll usually pick up the typos along the way.

    Nothing wrong with flashbacks...my WIP (I'll bet you're getting bored of it by now!) starts with what would be about Chapter 10 in chronological order, simply to start with something fairly dramatic. The problem with starting with her dead and thinking back is that it could be somewhat boring ("Oh, I'm dead. What a bummer."). Perhaps have her in a life-threatening situation on page one, get the reader to care whether she lives or dies...and then let her die, and as her life flashes before her dying eyes...
     
  5. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is why I was worried with a flashback style, was afriad it would be boring in the aspect that you know she dies, so the tension of her past being less because there is no build up towards if she might live. Since it starts with her dead.

    While those ideas as a while might normally work, in this case there are some restrictions. As I think I mentioned in my previous post there are 3 current projects. Kerrin's story is one. Another is the main story. Kerrin is a enemy in the main story. She is evil, and not really shown as doubting or second guessing the path she chose. This book would be meant to soly focus on her and how she became a monster, and also how she attempts find redemption in death.

    If your wondering why someone who didn't second guess her evil in life, suddenly doing so in death. The theme was that she didn't realize how over the line she was. I think in life she knew she was over the line, but I think she thought it was just a few inches over, and in death she is shown to have been miles over it.
    Also, you haven't mentioned much about your work in progress, how could I be bored? Always kind of took to the opinion that it would be in bad taste to get someone to listen to be rant and not read some of theres. :) (Warning, I am a slow reader.)
     
  6. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    First of all, if your character is dead from the start and she is telling the story of how she got to where she is, (as in the dark person she is) then you have to give the reader a reason to want to know her story. The reader already knows the character is going to die (she's dead!) so the story won't contain her going on a journey of love, self sacrifice, or coming of age so you need to give the reader something that hooks them in.

    You could start your story a couple of months before your character dies, give her a reason to reflect, give her something that makes the reader almost like her or feel sorry for her, something that will make the reader want to know her story.

    And flashbacks? I love them. I don't overuse them but I have managed to slot a few into my book and my WIP that I think work really well (obviously, I would think that LOL)

    Good luck!
    x
     
  7. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is a good point. Unfortunetly other plot reason restrain how I can show this story. If my current version can't work, I would likely just redo it and show the flashbacks in chronological order.
    A hook, that is a good question. I suppose my current thinking, is a woman waiting to be put on trial. Since she is reformed, she isn't evil at the moment. Bad to show a characters change before showing them? I thought the hook might be something like. "She doesn't seem so bad? What could she have done?" As the flashbacks regale exactly that.
    The point being story being very much. "People aren't born monsters."
    Does that count as a hook?
     
  8. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    If it's strong enough to make readers keep reading, then yes! It's a hook.

    The only way you are going to know for sure, is to write it, edit it, get the opinions of beta readers then put it out to Joe Public and see what happens.

    Good Luck. x
     
  9. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    :D Thanks
    I got a 5 page summary of the core direction. I also recently wrote a 2 page opening. (Actual content nomally escapes me, of my main story I have 150 pages of something akin to notes. lol )
    I actually joined intending to show the 2 page opening to see if it was any good. Currently waiting the 2 weeks before I can post it.
     
  10. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Looking forward to finding out more!

    I count in words rather than pages (not sure why) and I am currently editing a 35 thousand word section for the umpteenth time so will probably be glad of the distraction!

    :-D
     
  11. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    lol does a page have a comman number of words? Just looked it up, 1,401 words for the two page opening content. 35,000 damn, that is a lot for a section?

    Well, I know I can't post in te wokshop yet, but if your curious I assume this place as a private message system? Would you like a peak before I can post it?
    It isn't in bad taste to offer that is it?
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Don't fret. The deck is stacked against you. It's not possible.

    It's the nature of QWERTY keyboards, auto correct that isn't always correct, the fact your fingers aren't necessarily typing under conscious control (like how you breathe, you can do it consciously or unconsciously) and the brain's innate tendency to fill in the sensory blanks (think the blind spot from the optic nerve's insert into the retina that your brain fills in). The result is you see the words you are thinking, not necessarily the words on the page.

    I'm always amazed when I find typos days after I've reread a piece multiple times.
     
  13. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Yes there is a pm and of course, feel free to pm me something!

    35 thousand words stretches over 97 pages for me (A4, 1.5 line spacing).
     
  14. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Because word counts are the standard. Pages depend on page size, spacing, margins and font size. They are not consistent from document to document while word counts are.

    1,400 words, courier 12 font, double spaced with 1 inch margins will print out to 6 or 7 pages of standard 8.5x11. I know because I print that much every 2 weeks for my critique group.

    I wouldn't worry about the number of words in a section or a chapter. Those are best determined by what you are writing.

    The number of words you end up with determine whether it is a novel or short story or something else. Write the story, word counts are secondary.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014
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  15. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    This is also why it's hard to edit your own writing and why I use the narrator tool such a lot.
     
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  16. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh god, by narrator I assum you mean like a computer reader function. I have officially learned the blessing that is. Should have used it years ago.
     
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  17. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Got me thinking, "War and Peace" is about 1,200 pages...and somewhere over 500,000 words...but nowhere near À la recherche du temps perdu - Guiness world record holder for longest novel at 1,267,609 words...but hold on, Artamène ou le Grand Cyrus comes in at 2,100,000...and here's me failing to reach the 1,667 a day to do NaNo!
     
  18. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow.
    On an average night I think I can do about a page an hour for about 5-6 hours before I start to think my quality decresses. If my average is correct that means I produce call it average of 3,000 words a day. I guess that isn't a bad average. Never thought about it in terms of words before. But then again volume doesn't count if the quality isn't there. :-D
     
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