This is the penultimate post of the 2013 A to Z Challenge. After this, just one more to go!
Yesterdays is the title of the post and I’m talking about flashbacks.
One school of thought is that you should never start your novel with a flashback. I’ve read this in a number of places recently (including from Linda over at My Corner of the World) though a couple of good books I’ve read started with a flashback and they were both cracking reads. Like all the rules, they can be broken if you do it well.
I like to think of my flashbacks in two forms.
- You have your daydream. Your character whilst doing one thing, thinking back to an earlier time and/or place.
- Full cinematic flashback. A scene in its own right to help set the context within your story.
When I started writing I Can See You, my police procedural, the flashback was firmly in my mind as I started the planning. Two of the first scenes mapped out were flashbacks sowing the seed for one of the back stories of the novel. I like to use the power they can have as they transport you back to the time and place you want your reader to visit.
I don’t want too much of the narrative to be in flashback form. A few scenes and maybe only 10 pages are devoted to them in my WIP, but without them, I don’t think the story flows properly. I think of the flashback as my friend. 🙂
Television and Film can make excellent use of flashbacks. Lost fans probably SCREAM at the thought of flashbacks, but they can serve as a valuable tool in your writing arsenal.
So, when you are writing about your character and what they are doing today and tomorrow, don’t forget the tool that is writing about their yesterdays.
Do you make use of Flashbacks in your stories? Or, avoid them like the plague?
This is my Y post for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. A list of all my A to Z Blogging Challenge posts are to be found here.
Today’s pictures are from my 1990 trip to Yosemite National Park. Yosemite is one of those places where I could have stayed for the rest of my life and been happy. I could cope with living there and never setting foot outside its perimeter. Enjoy!