Karen Lamb further discusses the use of flashback (time shifting) as a literary device – or not.
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.
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…
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