The Flashback Scene: A Necessary Literary Evil?

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

Today’s topic is the flashback. We all kind of hate the structure involved flashbacks, we all strive to avoid them, and we all find that sometimes an author’s just gotta suck it up and write one, dang it.

I’ve discussed flashbacks once before. Specifically, I’ve talked about verbs and verb tense involved in flashbacks. Today, I wanted to start a conversation about the general structure and use of a flashback scene.

To get a discussion rolling, I thought I’d share my personal approach to flashback scenes and my opinions about their use.

1. I WOULD SUGGEST USING TWO FLASHBACKS PER NOVEL, AT MOST. HERE’S WHY:

Flashbacks don’t always, but they can demonstrate laziness on the part of a writer: an unwillingness to weave the necessary background information and flashback content throughout the story in a more creative way.

Writing requires flexibility. Flashbacks aren’t flexible at all…. They’re the equivalent…

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