F - Flashbacks

Still blogging as part of the A-Z challenge and today's letter is F.

The first word that came to my mind was frustrated, but I figured I'd keep this post upbeat and blogging about my many frustrations may lead me into a realm of whining and blahs that no one really wants to read about.

I've found that when I write, I write about things that happened to my character a month,  a year, or even longer, before the story starts. I always have to figure out what's going on currently with the character and write good active scenes to keep the plot moving toward the resolution of the current story. However, sometimes, I will incorporate those past scenes into the current manuscript as a flashback. 

I've heard flashbacks aren't so great in the minds of editors/agents.  I think with everything, if it is done well, the publishing house will accept it. If it works for the story. I haven't found and dictating rules on the subject.

What are your thoughts? Do you like flashbacks, or tend to stay away from them?

...... One more day to leave a comment to be entered to win Meg Moseley's Debut Novel, When Sparrows Fall. I'll announce the winner tomorrow!


Dianna Shuford said…
Flashbacks you ask? Hmmm...

When I first started writing, I used flashbacks some, but then I learned about pacing and realized that the flashbacks were dragging my story. That's not saying others can't use flashbacks without ruining their pacing, just that I haven't found that magic formula yet.

I usually write the past scene, then incorporate those events, feelings, realizations into my current story as little nuggets of info about the character.

I'm still learning so I can't say that I'll never use flashbacks again, but for now I'm kind of steering clear of them.
Misha said…
Hmm... I kind of like them, but I don't think they suit my style of writing. I usually incorporate the past in the thoughts of the characters so that I can describe how they feel about it now.

Still, I don't mind reading them, unless they're badly done. Sometimes people write flash backs so that it isn't obvious that it is a flash back. Throws me out completely.


Good choice of topic!
Susan Oloier said…
I agree. If flashbacks are used seamlessly, I actually like them. I posted about one of my novels today under F. In that book, I used flashbacks throughout the whole story because (in my mind, at least) it worked to move the plot forward. I think, done right, flashbacks can be quite intriguing.
Sarah Mäkelä said…
I tend not to use flashbacks, but I sometimes go with dreams or visions. Personally, I think it depends on how well written the flashbacks are.
I agree with you, flashbacks, like prologues, shouldn't matter if the writer writes well. A chance still exists an agent my say no, but you need to write true to yourself. Good luck with the challenge!
Sarah Allen said…
Great post! Flashbacks are important but hard to do correctly. Thanks for sharing :)

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

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