In my post two weeks ago, I covered different types of flashbacks (using only one, several, or telling a whole story through them - a revolutionary way of telling a story, in my opinion). Today, we're taking a look at actually writing these things. If you haven't read Part 1 in the series, I'd highly recommend checking that out here first. Now that that's out of the way, let's dive right in!
Have you ever read a book where you're suddenly taken back in time to see something that happened to the character in the past? That's called a flashback. We're going back in time in a flash to see something that happened to the character, also in a flash. It usually only lasts a single moment in real-time, as the character is just having a memory flash through their mind. But, as a reader, we get to see the whole scene play out. Flashbacks are a great way to insert backstory, or a character's ghost. There are other ways to do that, of course, but sometimes the best way is to completely immerse the reader into the scene to get the full impact of the emotion of the character. Flashbacks are generally reserved for important scenes; no reader wants to leave the storyline just for random thing that happened in the past. Those are the sort of things conveyed in passing, as a line of dialogue or a mention in the story. They don't need a full-on scene of their own. Most people know at least that much about flashbacks. Today, I'm diving in a little deeper than that general description to see the meat and bones of a flashback: what they are, when they should be used, and if there's even such a thing as over-using them.