Tag: flashback

Narrative Techniques Series: #5 Flashback

Narrative Techniques Series: #5 Flashback

We move on into our journey between the narrative techniques series: the Flashback.

This technique is one of the most known in the narrative.

It is also called analepsis or retrospection the narrative technique of the flashback rewinds the structure of the narration.

It creates an alteration in the time sequences. Flashback takes characters or things back to the beginning of the story, to give more details about the narration or its characters.

How to use the narrative technique of the Flashback

This narrative technique allows the writer to show facts that happened before a particular moment in the narration.

In addition, it also allows filling the gaps in the information the reader has about some crucial facts. For instance, a flashback on the origins of a character shows the viewer the key elements that contributed to their development during their growing years.

Further, it is also useful to create that sense of suspense and better know the behavior and habits of a character by giving more information about him.

To sum up, this is a useful technique to create the so-called “plot twist“.

Be careful to use it. Flashback, if carelessly used, could confuse the reader and create a complication in the plot. The important thing to always keep in mind is to be persistent and consistent with the narration.

The function of the flashback is Freudian…You have to let them wander like the imagination or like a dream.

Sergio Leone

Examples of the narrative technique of flashback

One of the most famous and important examples of flashbacks is in the “Odyssey“. Ulysses tells his past vicissitudes at the court of Alcinoo, king of the Phaeacians.

In a more recent narrative opera, Harry Potter, the writer J.K. Rowling introduces the “Pensieve Memory“. It’s an object that Silente can use to put in his memories and to relive them in a second moment. These memories are all represented as flashbacks.

Create your story with bibisco’s novel writing software

As we said, the flashback has to be used carefully to not confuse the reader. With the innovative novel writing software of bibisco, you can easily create your narration, or chapters, take notes.

You can decide to use this technique, or also other techniques congenial to the plot of your story.

Narrative Techniques Series: #5 Flashback -  bibisco's architecture of the novel & narrative strands - bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software

Conclusions

The narrative technique of the flashback allows introducing many details about the story.

The reader can better understand the relationship between a character and the background, the motivations and perspective of a character.

Subsequently, the writer interrupts the chronological and linear order of a narrative to introduce more depth and complexity to the story. And again, he can create surprise or suspense.

Think about one of this element and try to apply in your narration.

Do you need other advice about how to write your story? See these articles of our narrative techniques series and find your inspiration!