1. jade's dream
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    jade's dream New Member

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    Flashbacks

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by jade's dream, Apr 15, 2009.

    Hi,

    The story I am currently writing has several flashbacks in it. just wondered can you have to many flashbacks?? :confused:
    I didn't want to start to far in the past in the beginning but a lot has happened in the past that needs explaining, therefore there is a lot of flashbacks through out the story.
    Would it put many of you off reading something that kept flashing back?:confused:

    Please let me know

    thanks ;)
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...probably, because too much of anything out of the ordinary is usually not a good thing... that said, it all depends on the talent and skill of the writer... a good writer can pull off lots of things that a poor one can't...

    ...it might... and it might not... see why, in my last two sentences above...

    ...there are other ways to let your readers know what took place in the past, you know... flashbacks are not the only and are often not the best method to choose... for instance, you can work details into the narrative, spacing them out so there's no info dump problem, and/or you can work them into dialog...

    ...i'd recommend you be more creative and not depend on flashbacks for everything you want the readers to know about the past...
     
  3. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    Hm. . . .

    This is difficult because I was recently thinking about flashbacks, and when I think about it-- I can see myself being incredibly bored with the flashback sequences, as most people are more interested in the present than in the past.

    In other words, if I'm into a story, I don't want to read about something that happened a long time ago.

    Then again, in the Dresden Files, he has one flashback which worked well and was interesting.
     
  4. jade's dream
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    jade's dream New Member

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    hi
    thanks for your comments.
    I will probably keep tweaking it until I am happy with it. I do have a whole chapter as a memory as the heroin falls asleep, which I am not sure about.
    surely a flashback is better than a jump forward??
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Have you ever read Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. The entire story jumps back and forth in time and space. You could say that the entire novel consists of a series of flashbacks.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...and it works... but there are few writers with the talent and skill he possessed... so, it's not a good idea to fiddle with time, if you can't pull it off as successfully as the greats did/do...
     
  7. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    Flashbacks can be useful if used well. That's pretty much all I can say about that. :-D

    ~Lynn
     
  8. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    You also might want to consider a frame story. An example of a frame story is Merrick by Anne Rice.
     
  9. A.J.Crowley
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    A.J.Crowley Senior Member

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    :D Gets the reference.

    Try and makes sure that the reader actually want's a flashback. A bit of shameless hint dropping beforehand doesn't go amiss. This means that the reader is curious and interested in some facet of the narritive, or characters life, so when you finnaly explain it in the flashback later on the reader feels satisfied.
     

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