1. JPGriffin
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    JPGriffin Senior Member

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    Is this a common/overused format?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by JPGriffin, Mar 22, 2012.

    In terms of presenting the plot and the development of characters and such, is it too cliche to start with a point in a future, then write the remainder in series of flashbacks and memories? I haven't really seen this too much, but I might have missed novels that did things like this. I plan on using this in a fictional piece (Finally figured out that Fantasy has just been a rut for me...) and wanted to know if/when people have seen anything like this. So far I've read only one novel that uses this format, and it worked pretty well in terms of flow.
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It's fairly common, and works well. Look at the movie Lawrence of Arabia, which is considered one of the all-time classics. Lawrence dies in the first scene, and the rest of the movie (and it's a long movie) is a flashback dealing with his career. I don't consider it a cliche. I think it's a valid technique. I say, go for it.
     
  3. NotoriousLynx
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    NotoriousLynx New Member

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    Eh, its alright. I think my favorite opening of all time is Frankenstein, the first twenty pages are from a completely minor character's point of view, but he ends up meeting Dr. Frankenstein just as the entire story we know has ended. Frankenstein tells the man about his journey from the beginning of his college years to how he ended up in the Arctic. In a way, Frankenstein is told through flashback. As long as you don't immediately go from the end of the story to the flashback, I think its fine. Have a reason why its told in flashback and not just having the main character on his death bed.
     
  4. Elvis
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    Elvis Member

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    I personally don't mind it as long as you don't give too much of the ending away.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Nothing is overused if you write it well.
     
  6. Rennie1989
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    Rennie1989 Member

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    This is exactly what I was going to say.
     
  7. Erato
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    Erato Contributing Member

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    Yay, the canned response! I was afraid I was going to have to write it myself.
     
  8. Salama
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    Salama Member

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    Exactly.
    But not everything is publishable at all times. Trends control the needs of the market.
    Even if something is good in itself, it could be too much to read at some point.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto all the dittos!
     

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