Take the 2-minute tour ×
Writers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for authors, editors, reviewers, professional writers, and aspiring writers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Recently, I wrote a short story that contains a flashback in the middle that was used to explain a major plot point in the story. Does a significant scene set as a flashback break up the flow of a short story (usually considered to be somewhere between 1,000 and 15,000 words, depending on who is asked), and if so, why?

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

It's all about context. I don't think there's a blanket answer. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge is, in a sense, a flashback in the middle of the story, but it works exquisitely.

share|improve this answer
    
Even short stories need structure (more so, possibly). So it can work in exactly the same way as for a longer story. –  Schroedingers Cat Aug 3 '12 at 10:46
    
The flashback in the Bierce piece you mentioned is actually an inside-out framing device for the real action of the story. I wouldn't really call it a flashback, either, since it's more of a dream sequence — part memory, part fantasy. –  Robusto Aug 4 '12 at 12:13
    
I agree, which is why I wrote "in a sense." My point was that there's no hard-and-fast rule; it depends on the story. –  Lauren Ipsum Aug 4 '12 at 13:12
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.