1. Public
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    When writing about the past through a memory...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Public, Jun 30, 2012.

    When writing about the past through a memory, is it ok to still narrate over it with your character's (narrator's) experience now. I'm wondering if this context is acceptable.

    “Ok so question five...” As Jackie began talking, this had brought up an old memory, one I didn’t even recall having up until this point.

    ---7 Years Earlier---

    “How do you do number two?”
    “I don’t know, go ask Sarah.” I really didn’t want to ask for her help. At the time not only did Sarah seem extremely unapproachable, but I was extremely self conscious, something that followed me throughout life.
     
  2. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    The WiP I'm rewriting has this approach. Fictionalized memoir, with the first-person narrator generally looking back, and sometimes slipping into the youthful voice for effect. It takes care to navigate it but it's a conceit I like.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    treat it as a scene change.
     
  4. Furyvore
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    It doesn't matter how you do it. there is no universal rule-book dictating how it must be done. As long as the reader clearly understands that this is a flashback.
     
  5. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    where the mind is without fear...
    There is nothing wrong in continuing with the narration as indicated in bold, but that will mean you have a flashback of just two lines of dialogues. The phrase "At the time" suggest the narrator is back from the flashback. As Cog said treat the flashback as a scene, and a scene can have narration.

    Punctuation wise the narration part should be in a separate paragraph because the speaker of the last dialogue is not the narrator. And separate paragraphs for each of the dialogue.

    Style wise:

     
  6. ulubelu
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    ulubelu Member

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    Have you ever read Nicholas Spark? He does that, a lot - most of his stories are told via memories or something like that. When he describes a person, there's often a certain memory going along with it and it is just super great - he does it brilliantly! I would read some of his books to see just how he does it :D
     

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