1. Crumpets

    Crumpets Senior Member

    Sep 10, 2012
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    How to punctuate flashbacks?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Crumpets, Sep 28, 2012.

    As far as story writing is concerned, how are flashbacks punctuated? (Punctuated in the same fashion as thoughts are often italicized)

  2. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    what do you mean by 'flashbacks'?... if just a change in time frame, writing scenes from the past, why would you think they'd be written any differently?... they're not, btw... a scene is a scene, is a scene [sorry, ms stein!]...

    but if you mean a person having a 'flashback' as in a memory suddenly 'flashing' in the mind of a character, then you might want to write it as a regular bit of narrative, or could do it in 'stream of consciousness' style, in which normal punctuation may be dropped and bits separated by ellipses... a little of that goes a long way, though... you could also insert it as a block indent...

    as for thoughts, they should be punctuated normally and good writers don't have to resort to fancy fontery to let their readers know when a character is thinking, so i don't recommend using italics...

    i suggest you check out successfully published novels to see how mental flashbacks are handled by bestselling authors...

    hope this helps... love and hugs, maia

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