Flashbacks–Think twice before you dwell on the past by Rick Taubold

(this is a cross post from Rick's blog Write Well, Write to Sell)

Among the several sins that many new writers commit, premature flashbacks is often one of them. Two other big sins are launching into backstory too soon after the opening (or in the opening), and the use of a prologue when one isn’t warranted.

This problem was brought back to me by a recent blog article by Emma Darwin:

When A Flashback is an Alarm Bell

In this article she pretty well sums up the problem. She provides a link to a good article on the proper use and the misuse of prologues. She also wrote an article back in 2011 that deals with some problems and their solutions when backstory is needed.

Flashing, Slipping and Mixing Things Up

Many new authors seem to think that they simply must spill everything for the reader right away, and they believe that the reader won’t understand the story without all the background detail. While these details may seem fascinating to the author, they’re often far less so to the reader. At the very least, backstory stops the present story in its tracks. Consider this following opening to illustrate what I mean.

To read all of Rick's article about Flashback, click here

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