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6

The important question is not whether it is common, but whether it works for your story. It is certainly not "wrong". Flashbacks in general are certainly common enough that the technique of itself is not going to confuse readers. I don't think there's any particular expectation that flashbacks must come in order, so that coming out of order would be ...


5

Historical re-enactors share your problem. Here are some of the things we do: Read history books, sure, but sometimes it's the museum catalogs that show everything from art to architecture to everyday kitchenware that really help. History books will tend to give you a good view of events, but they're not always so good for daily-life stuff. Then ask ...


5

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.


4

Following the usual advice to “Write what you know”, you would set the project aside and write about things you know now. But in the meanwhile, you could • obtain and study books, maps, or films about the area, • strike up a correspondence with people in the area, • advertise locally to meet people from the area, • make plans to visit the area. If you meet ...


4

For me, there must be two rules with flashbacks: 1 They must be ordered in the sequence that they slowly unfold the truth, and only when the last flashback is told, can the reader resolve the whole mystery. 2 They must not hold back information in an artificial manner. For example the present story might remind the character of something and he thinks of ...


4

There are many ways to research a location and a time: Books, the internet, even satellite photos and Google Street View. (Not really relevant for this project, but I've fixed some pretty basic errors with those.) However, when the place in question is interesting, you need to make sure that your research is actually relevant to the novel. When you're ...


3

I don't see a problem with what you have done. Flashbacks (like any literary device) can be implemented in many different ways. Some authors prefer to simply tell the flashbacks as you mentioned, but I assure you that that does not necessarily establish an implicit norm. I have read many texts and short stories that have dialogues in flashbacks. In your ...


3

The answer to any non-traditional story pattern is... it depends. Why do you want to adopt this format? Most stories are written in a straight-forward chronological order because this is how we normally experience events and it is what the readers expect. It can be jarring as a reader to learn at the end of the story some basic fact everyone in the story ...


3

There's nothing inherently wrong with having a conceptual sequence rather than a chronological one. The important point is that you have some really clear signposting so the reader doesn't get confused. In a book you can have little titles telling people when things happened. e.g. Oregon, May 1986 | Portland, Nov 1991 etc. Some people tend to blank over ...


2

In principle, if it doesn't matter, if the idea is just that this happened sometime in the past, then you don't need to bog the story down with details about exactly when. I certainly wouldn't go into some long description if it doesn't matter. I mean, I wouldn't say, "In the third year after she graduated college, on the tenth of June, at 3:15 in the ...


2

It's not necessary to make it clear, specially because sometimes you can "play" with it confusing the reader to create impact. There are plenty of examples. It's quite common in movies but I don't exactly remind any in books right now. But, that doesn't mean in your context it is valid. When somebody uses subterfuges like that, he is prepared and whiling ...


2

I use flashback to explain my character's present predicament. The flashback is a specific incident. I have found that if I make the flashback complicated (i.e. with multiple timeframes), I then risk the ability to seamlessly transit back to the present. In this regard, I always indicate somehow the start and end of the flashback. In you example, I am ...


2

The sentences starting with "then" etc can usually be amended by leaving them out, and indicating the time using more expressive statements: They were dark and deep, like small black holes. Sophia felt as if they were looking directly into her soul. The very core of her existence. She was terrified, but for some reason, she found something familiar in ...


2

You have two things going on: a flashback from the main narrative, and a dream. If the dream is taking place in the past, that may be a literal flashing-back, but it's not actually a flashback. A flashback is reliable (in the sense of "reliable narrator"), realistic, and a memory of someone. It's a detour from the forward narrative. A dream, on the other ...


1

If a flashback is a paragraph or two, you can (sometimes) get by with telling. But if a flashback is longer than that, it has to engage the reader in the same way that current-time events do. And that usually means you have to show. And that means that, once you transition into the flashback, it reads just like any other scene. Note that the term flashback ...


1

A flashback is usually a memory. Whatever is in that memory should be in the flashback. (Even if it is not the character's memory, I still treat it as a memory). If that memory contains a lot of dialogue, don't you think you should include it so the reader gets the full effect of what you're trying to convey? I hope this helps!


1

There are different schools of thought on how masterful and complete a writer's knowledge/research should be, and I think they often correlate to how seriously you want your work to be taken. Are you trying to simply write a more "commercial," non-lasting book that will provide a bit of fun and entertainment, or to write a book that is more lasting and ...


1

I don't think that the structure itself is a problem necessarily. I'd want to make sure that the first scene is sufficiently long enough that the audience isn't like "wait, what?" when scene 2 ends and you jump back to the present, but sure, otherwise this is more or less exactly how a frame is supposed to work. I think I intimated yesterday that another ...



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