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  1. MilesTro

    MilesTro Senior Member

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    Doing Flash backs Correctly

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by MilesTro, Aug 5, 2013.

    In my first person novel, my character is talking to the reader in present tense. During the beginning of a conflict, he explains about an incident that happen in the past. I switch the tense to past in the flash back. Is that correct so the readers won't get confuse?
     
  2. Anthony Martin

    Anthony Martin Active Member

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  3. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    The setting and events of the flashback should make it clear you have left the main story. If the narrator is simply relating the events, then changing tense makes sense, but you don't have to do it that way.
     
  4. Alesia

    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Most first person/present works I see stick with the same tense for flashbacks. Like "I see thing X and suddenly I'm back in place Y, living event Z." That's the way I do it, anyway since most of my works are either first person present or past. (I know, I'm a hypocrite since I don't really like 1P as a reader, yet I write it...)
     
  5. blackstar21595

    blackstar21595 New Member

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    Should just look at how other writers flashback to a writer's past. Here's a flashback for you from Anton Chekhov's short story "The Bet."
    And here's my own, off the top. "Ryder stared at his boxing gloves. When he took them off he saw the scar on his thumb and remembered his fight with DJ. They weren't in the ring, but on the street......."
    You get the idea. It's as easy as saying "He/She remembered" then describing the flashback. At least that's what I learned from Chekhov and all the other writers I like.
     
  6. MilesTro

    MilesTro Senior Member

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    So basically I should just keep it simple. I can cut it down as long as there is enough about the incident.
     

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