After my last post on flashbacks, I was asked if I could provide an example of how it's done. Being short on time, I cheated and did a Google search. I found this awesome blog post by Paige Duke that breaks down the anatomy of a flashback in The Hunger Games.
Here's a teaser for their post. I highly recommend that you read the whole thing.
Creating a Strong Framework
Because a flashback halts the forward motion of the narrative, the reader must care about the character before you throw the car in reverse. Collins’ flashback comes in Chapter 2, which might seem early, but we’re already hooked into the action of the story and tied to the fate of the character. Because Katniss has just volunteered to take her sister’s place in the Games—a death sentence for sure. And she’s about to find out who else she’ll have to face in the arena.
Peeta Mellark! Oh, no, I think. Not him … I try to convince myself it doesn’t matter. Peeta Mellark and I are not friends. Not even neighbors. We don’t speak. Our only real interaction happened years ago. He’s probably forgotten it. But I haven’t and I know I never will.…
The First SentencesThere are two things to note about a strong first sentence of a flashback. First, it’s a transition, so it needs to be strategic. Whether it’s smooth or abrupt, seamless or jarring, it should be that way intentionally. Maybe this flashback comes to your character in a natural way when a sense of smell triggers the memory. Or maybe they’re thrust back into a tense and painful moment in time, caught completely off guard. The effect is different, so use this transition point to its full advantage.
Read more at http://www.standoutbooks.com/writing-flashbacks/
I hope that helps everybody write stronger, more awesome flashbacks! Now get out there and write!
Share any thoughts or questions in the comments.
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