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Old 10-23-2012, 10:49 PM   #16
VydorScope
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That's what I asked too, and the general response (from five of them) was the same: "Because they don't. Now who's the professor and who's the student? Right, thought so."

Each of them had also been published multiple times in major litfic circles, so they can't all be wrong.

Teachers like that need to be fired.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:58 AM   #17
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That's what I asked too, and the general response (from five of them) was the same: "Because they don't. Now who's the professor and who's the student? Right, thought so."
Oh dear. Teachers can only teach what is teachable. The good ones acknowledge this and inspire their students to stretch for the unteachable. The bad ones invent rules.

And anyway, this is just plain rude. A teacher who responds to a student like this is... well, not worthy of consideration.

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Old 10-25-2012, 03:30 PM   #18
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Teachers like that need to be fired.
...out of a cannon...







...into the sun.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:31 PM   #19
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I think you're describing the <blockquote></blockquote> HTML tag, but I don't know whether that is used for flashbacks. And mobi format can't do it properly; mobi just doubles the indent on the left and does not provide an indent on the right.
I'll give that a shot and see if it works. Thank-you!
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:04 PM   #20
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So am I the only one who was told time and again that flashbacks don't belong in decent fiction? They can't convey action, and thus violate "show don't tell."
How does "show don't tell" reckon with Homer?
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:47 PM   #21
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How does "show don't tell" reckon with Homer?
I should've probably said "modern fiction" instead of "decent fiction."
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:29 PM   #22
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I'm just quoting what every single litfic professor I've talked to has said. Flashbacks by definition can't convey action.
I too disagree with this. Why can't flashbacks convey action? And since they're part of a character's past -- and therefore part of what has shaped that character -- they can be a pertinent, if not extremely important, element of the plot as well.

The easiest way to convey a flashback is to italicize the paragraphs in which the flashback happens. It's just that simple.
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:49 PM   #23
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I too disagree with this. Why can't flashbacks convey action? And since they're part of a character's past -- and therefore part of what has shaped that character -- they can be a pertinent, if not extremely important, element of the plot as well.
I've got a hunch it derives from the prohibition on using the present tense, but I'm not really certain at all. There's a very good reason why I don't write litfic, y'know.

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The easiest way to convey a flashback is to italicize the paragraphs in which the flashback happens. It's just that simple.
So how do you indicate book titles and character thought if you're going to use italics for flashbacks?
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:26 PM   #24
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I should've probably said "modern fiction" instead of "decent fiction."


A wonderful subject best left fallow here.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:51 PM   #25
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So how do you indicate book titles and character thought if you're going to use italics for flashbacks?

I use italics for telepathy. I introduce a flashback through the narrative itself. and put a blank line or two before and after it. Readers seem to have no problem following it.
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Old 10-28-2012, 04:38 AM   #26
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I've got a hunch it derives from the prohibition on using the present tense
Help! Another rule!

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Old 10-29-2012, 03:55 AM   #27
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There is nothing wrong with going to classes, to school, to seminars, to conventions and the like. Nothing wrong with belonging to "groups" both discussion and working. Pick up all you can.

I enjoy the feedback I get from a script writing team.

Just remember that most of the time the "formal" places are where techniques are taught. All sorts of techniques. Some would also say it is where opinions are taught as gospel, ... and with lots of examples to back up the message.

I say this. Look at the books you like, the ones you would like to emulate.

And just do it.

Better!
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:08 AM   #28
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I say this. Look at the books you like, the ones you would like to emulate.

And just do it.

Better!
Amen brother. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. Samuel Beckett (I think).
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:26 AM   #29
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That's what I asked too, and the general response (from five of them) was the same: "Because they don't. Now who's the professor and who's the student? Right, thought so."

Each of them had also been published multiple times in major litfic circles, so they can't all be wrong.
I'm pretty sure I've read more than one book which starts with the character about to do something dramatic (like, draw their last breath) and the entire book has been a series of flashbacks telling the story of how they ended up there - with lots of action.

I suspect that in this specific instance your professors are full of it, even if they are otherwise ineffable founts of priceless wisdom.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:14 PM   #30
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So how do you indicate book titles and character thought if you're going to use italics for flashbacks?
You can use italics for those too. You simply have to be an artful enough wordsmith that your reader can immediately tell which is which.
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