Flashbacks

  1. As much as possible, keep your reader in the present time of your story. Flashbacks stop the action.
  2. Keep your flashback brief
  3. Insert the flashback at the proper place. I must tell my readers that I won the lottery before they will be interested to know where I bought the ticket.
  4. Try this test on every flashback:
    1. Did you use it only after you had exhausted every possible means of telling your story in strict chronological order?
    2. Did you eliminate most of the past perfect tense? Or at least limit it to the first few sentences?
    3. Did you get rid of every unnecessary word even though it hurt to cut and revise?
    4. Did you avoid playing hide and seek with the basic information?
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