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Monday, June 29, 2015

How Are Flashbacks Used in Fiction?

Flashbacks are used in fiction to explain why, for example, a character dislikes antique typewriters. The mention or tap of a key digs-up a different personality for him/her. The mystery of why he/she can't remember what or how it happens unfolds the flashback. Look-over the following.

1. Sudden change of place or time.
2. The character goes to a different place from the original.
3. He or she is returned to the first place.

A flashback reminds a character of something, bad or good, from the past. The sight of an antique typewriter, for this character, swirls around memories of murder. The flashback is the means for readers to understand the character's plight.

1. A flashback is stuffed with lots of information. 
2. The tapping of keys plops him or her back to the present.
3. The character's past is exposed.

Flashbacks keeps fiction interesting when mixed well. It should be long enough to provide necessary information, but not bore readers. What do bored readers do? Move on to next author. 

1. Be clear on what you want to share.
2. An outline may help.
3. Try more than one possible scene flashback before deciding.

A tale begins with a dramatic scene. It explodes in the middle of a problem. It'll grab the reader's attention. Still, they'll want to know what triggered the boil-over. What derailed the relationship, friendship? Circumstances? Characters responsible?

1. A flashback is needed.
2. It uncovers facts.
3. Also, it leads to where the story opens.

Sometimes, a sentence is all it takes to stir-awake the flashback. The situation may require a paragraph or two. The story's pace must not be slowed by a flashback. How is a flashback set into motion? 

1. The sound of music playing.
2. A fall or hand-shake.
3. A character's eyes recognizing an antique typewriter.

A flashback is a transition from the current place to a different one, and a return to the original place. It isn't a long process. The flashback is packed full of information to allow readers to understand a character. 

1. Outline the flashback.
2. Test more than one flashback for "the" scene.
3. The flashback's job is to discover and inform.

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Marcella Glenn is a freelance writer who has written news reports, worked in an office, reviewed movies, published a newsletter and had her novel, "Grave Street House," published. She, too, is a Writing Consultant as well as a Personal Coach.

She has tried to go down some of life's other paths. A few paths were a mail-order business, the publishing of a pen-pal newsletter and selling plastic-ware. Only, she was back writing before realizing what she was doing.

She'd critique titles, paragraphs, news reports, that no one submitted to her. She'd stop herself, eventually. Marcella Glenn seemed to be enjoying the act of writing. This is how she knew writing was more than a hobby.

Let it be a lesson in your life too. Is writing calling your name? Or, acting? Teaching? Are you interested in engineering? Have the courage to go for your dreams. Simply, believe in yourself.

Meet Marcella Glenn on Twitter:

Grave Street House Interview
Authors Show Radio Announces Interview Lineup For Week Of February 16, 2009
Internet Radio features five new authors each week
February 16, 2009
Every week, The Authors Show, radio version features interviews with up and coming authors from around the world. This week The Authors Show radio features Marcella Glenn, author of  'Grave Street House'.

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