Snapshots/flashbacks

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dreamscaper, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    Do you use flashbacks as a method of telling about a character's past? How does one go about doing this effectively or are there better methods for showing why a character is the way that they are or is this one of the things that I'll just have to figure out as I go along?
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  2. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I've never used a flashback that I can think of so maybe somebody else can chime in here on how one might use them?

    I have used the prologue to tell something about the past that I felt was important to the story. Usually I let my characters reveal their past by their actions or possibly in a conversation with another character, thereby dropping clues the reader has to put together to figure out what's happened in the past.
     
  3. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    So something like...

    First try anyway...
     
  4. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    Sure, that works :) Now you might drop another clue later in the story by having Magnus react in some unexpected way to something in a forge that reveals more about the "incident" that took his father's life for example, allowing the reader to piece together what happened and show them something about Magnus.
     
  5. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    Alright, thanks. Now to work it into the stories proper instead of just the background material...
     
  6. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    Exactly! YOU need to know the facts of what happened to write it, but it might be more effective to let the reader piece together what happened by watching Magnus go through the story. Magnus might have an irrational fear of fire for example or have saved some half-melted piece of metal his father was working on when he died.... something along those lines could work to reveal what happened. A flashback is "telling" and that is reserved for the boring stuff the reader needs to know but that isn't especially interesting to read about. You have an opportunity to show what the death of Magnus' father did to him... making him a "deeper" and far more interesting character. :)
     
  7. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    Discussion points, good. flashbacks, bad. gotcha.
    Magnus, as he stands, really only appears in the story to kill people who are in his way. I mean, he has a character arc of his own its just that it pivots on when he meets the lady friend. Though I guess working on a story with him as one of the group of protagonists would work better than just having him as one of the antagonists in the other two stories.
     
  8. Anrisa Ryn

    Anrisa Ryn Author, artist, gamer

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    I use them sometimes. I have a huge flashback in my latest work. I use it to tell why my bad guy is how he is.
     
  9. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    Could you post it so we can see how it works?