Understanding the Flashback—Bending Time as a Literary Device

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image vis Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Yuya Sekiguchi. Image vis Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Yuya Sekiguchi.

Last time we talked about flashbacks and why they ruin fiction. But, because this is a blog and I don’t want it to be 20,000 words long, I can’t address everything in one post. Today, we’re going to further unpack “the flashback.” I think we tend to use broad literary terms to encompass a lot of things that aren’t precisely the same things, and in doing this, we get confused.

In my POV, the term “flashback” is far too broad.

We can mistakenly believe that any time an author shifts time, that THIS is the dreaded “flashback” I am referring to and the one I (as an editor) will cut.

Not necessarily.

We need to broaden our understanding of the “flashback” because lumping every backwards shift in time under one umbrella won’t work.

My favorite example is the term “antagonist.” I’ve…

View original post 2,374 more words

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About Henrietta Handy

I am a Kentucky mountain girl far from home, perhaps far from the girl years. I am an aspiring writer with a wonderful husband who puts up with this writing and reading addiction I have. He also puts up with all of the yarn and knitting. I have four canine children and a ton of friends I love dearly. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 2 1/2 and have still managed to have a good life despite all the pain. So, I invite you to join me in this journey and just possibly have fun along the way.
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