Monday, June 13, 2016
Flashbacks - My Observations
A flashback moves the reader from the present to the past. It may happen multiple times in a story. This technique is often frowned upon by editors, but I'm seeing more and more of them in books. When they're done well, they can be effective. By the same token, they can:
1. Stop the forward action of a story.
2. Confuse the reader.
3. Take the edge off the story's tension.
Recently, I reviewed the book, "The Butterfly and The Violin." This was an example of a story with effective flashbacks. As I've mulled over why I think it worked so well, I came up with these thoughts:
1. The historical content and present-day content were separated and didn't create confusion.
2. The past provided a mystery for the present-day characters, while the reader had two stories that provided questions and interesting twists.
3. At the end, both the past and present intertwined and came to satisfying conclusions.
Writers: Do you use flashbacks in your stories? Please share.
Readers: What is your opinion of flashbacks? Do you like them? Do they annoy you? Please share.
Photo Credit: Guido Giardino