1. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Would this be a bad idea?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Unit7, Aug 30, 2009.

    So I just started a new story. Its about 2 siblings who try and survive aftera Zombie apocalypse. Now I started the story with the brother watching over his sister as she sleeps. When I got this idea.

    If you have seen Lost, you know that for the majority of the series it goes back and forth between the present and the past. Explaining how the characters got to the island and a general idea of what their life was like before.

    Now I was thinking of adding something like this to my story. I was thinking of every once and awhile going back in time to show how they have changed since the Zombies. I was thinking of putting most of these flashbacks during their escape from the city, but maybe going back further when there was no threat?

    Would this be a bad thing to add to my story? I know that I would need to find a good transistion. Unlike in Lost, I can't just have a sound play before and after its done. :p
     
  2. Rumpole40k
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    Rumpole40k Banned

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    Ultimately, it depends on your skills as a writer. A good writer could pull it off without a problem, while an amateur might make a mess of the whole thing. Like so many other issues related to our craft, the final answer isn't black or white. Assuming you have the skills, I see no reason why it wouldn't work.
     
  3. MumblingSage
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    MumblingSage Contributing Member

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    Pretty much what Rumpole said. There's no harm in trying to write it this way--if it doesn't work, rewrite. One way to make things easier for the reader to keep track of is to 'date' each flashback like a journal entry, and/or to make the flashbacks seperate chapters, but even this isn't necessary if the change in the character's situation over time is obvious enough.
     
  4. Syne
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    Syne Member

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    It sounds interesting. It's been done before, though -- not that anything hasn't. The transition would depend on the depth of these flashbacks, I think. If they are almost alternative storylines, jumping around between them all would make the plot very confusing to follow. Unless it's your deliberate intention, it sounds like something you might want to avoid. In this case, you'd want to use different chapters for different timelines.
    If they are short, they could be threaded into the main timeline, though you'd still want to make sure the reader doesn't get confused. It may be a difficult task, but a possible one.
    At any rate, it would be very interesting to see the end result. I hope you'll post it around here when you're done, so we can take a look at it.
     
  5. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm it seems I have alot to think about.

    The idea behind this flashbacks were very much like how Lost does it. Though I would like to mention it was only after I got the idea did I remember Lost lol.
     
  6. Pallas
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    Pallas Contributing Member Contributor

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    Seems like it would be quite the obtrusive element to weave fluidly into a flowing story arc. I must say that I have watched Lost a few times and the flashbacks added quite the flesh to the characters. Perhaps try embedding it in as a event that triggers a memory. Perhaps the event is something traumatic that is similar to a current flash or burst of sound. The raucous of a passing train, or the harsh words of a passing conversation. Though I doubt these things exist anymore in a zombie world, haha, perhaps just the quite, but crushing desolation of a playground or city scape. Just a thought. Good writing.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Scene transitions like that have to be masterfully handled, or te reader will be confused. It can be done, but you had better know your stuff.
     
  8. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    It's called backstory. But the way you are talking about doing it is called a frame story. Check out Merrick by Anne Rice if you want to see a good example of a frame story.
     

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