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Old 12-07-2017, 04:09 PM   #1
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Writing flashbacks

Flashbacks. How I loathe that term.

Trouble is, I don't know what else to call it (them). In one word, that is. And strictly speaking, I don't think I have a flashback situation here...

So, I've got two characters. The story starts with the POV of one of them. Stuff happens. But there's stuff that happens that Character One doesn't see/know.

The big reveal (sigh) comes from Character Two's POV of those same (plus bits) events. Which, of course, is different.

It makes sense in my head. I just can't make it work with words (words are so hard. Who knew?).

I'm thinking (and believe me, that's not necessarily a good thing) that as long as I stay strictly to the POVs of the two characters, it should work(ish).

Or, I could stick to designing websites.

Discuss. Please.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:16 PM   #2
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I hate dueling POV stories.
That said, are you referring to 2 people being involved in the same event but remembering it in two very different ways?
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:29 PM   #3
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Look over these two:

1) "As I Lay Dying," by William Faulkner.

2) "Alexandria Quartet," by Lawrence Durrell.
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Old 12-07-2017, 05:25 PM   #4
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I hate dueling POV stories.
That said, are you referring to 2 people being involved in the same event but remembering it in two very different ways?
Hopefully, not dueling. Rather 2 people, same events but some sub-events are not shared. i.e. conversations with others etc. So, the shared bits are the same, it's the extra bits that are different.

In my head, Part 1 is char1 and Part 2 is char2. That is, not (I hope) dueling.

@Dr Drib - wow. Thank you. I googled the first one and I can't believe I hadn't even heard of it. 19 POV! Now that's ambitious.
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Old 12-07-2017, 05:40 PM   #5
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Hopefully, not dueling. Rather 2 people, same events but some sub-events are not shared. i.e. conversations with others etc. So, the shared bits are the same, it's the extra bits that are different.

In my head, Part 1 is char1 and Part 2 is char2. That is, not (I hope) dueling.

@Dr Drib - wow. Thank you. I googled the first one and I can't believe I hadn't even heard of it. 19 POV! Now that's ambitious.
Oh that is not at all what I was thinking.
I was thinking more along the lines of several people together, they get split up and each gets their own chapter.
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:29 PM   #6
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Flashbacks. How I loathe that term.

Trouble is, I don't know what else to call it (them). In one word, that is. And strictly speaking, I don't think I have a flashback situation here...

So, I've got two characters. The story starts with the POV of one of them. Stuff happens. But there's stuff that happens that Character One doesn't see/know.

The big reveal (sigh) comes from Character Two's POV of those same (plus bits) events. Which, of course, is different.

It makes sense in my head. I just can't make it work with words (words are so hard. Who knew?).

I'm thinking (and believe me, that's not necessarily a good thing) that as long as I stay strictly to the POVs of the two characters, it should work(ish).

Or, I could stick to designing websites.

Discuss. Please.
Recent book The Last Mrs. Parrish (a domestic thriller) uses this technique to good effect.
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:29 PM   #7
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Yeah, flashbacks is really not the correct term (I don't know what is though).

Dueling flashback stories always make my head feel like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. It spins.

I want to avoid all spinning heads. If possible.
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:31 PM   #8
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Recent book The Last Mrs. Parrish (a domestic thriller) uses this technique to good effect.
Thanks! I'll check it out (is that the Liv Constantine Mrs Parrish?).

I'm just doing Faulkner at the moment.
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:40 PM   #9
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Yeah, flashbacks is really not the correct term (I don't know what is though).

Dueling flashback stories always make my head feel like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. It spins.

I want to avoid all spinning heads. If possible.
The worst one I ever read was one where a town is raided and one friend goes to the castle and becomes the princess, the other characters are left to fend for themselves.
The princess becomes pregnant, the other two find or fall into a hole in the ground. Next page 9 months later. Baby is born, other two are now near the castle and there was not any magic.
Uhm, what the heck.
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:42 PM   #10
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Hopefully, not dueling. Rather 2 people, same events but some sub-events are not shared. i.e. conversations with others etc. So, the shared bits are the same, it's the extra bits that are different.

In my head, Part 1 is char1 and Part 2 is char2. That is, not (I hope) dueling.

@Dr Drib - wow. Thank you. I googled the first one and I can't believe I hadn't even heard of it. 19 POV! Now that's ambitious.

You're welcome!
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:48 PM   #11
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The worst one I ever read was one where a town is raided and one friend goes to the castle and becomes the princess, the other characters are left to fend for themselves.
The princess becomes pregnant, the other two find or fall into a hole in the ground. Next page 9 months later. Baby is born, other two are now near the castle and there was not any magic.
Uhm, what the heck.
Wait! You mean someone stole my story? Now I'll have to think up another one.

@Dr Drib - I'm well underway with Faulkner (ah, procrastination...I haz it). Many, many thanks.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:26 PM   #12
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Wait! You mean someone stole my story? Now I'll have to think up another one.

@Dr Drib - I'm well underway with Faulkner (ah, procrastination...I haz it). Many, many thanks.
So sorry that you have to think.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:01 PM   #13
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Being a Southerner, I've always loved Faulkner and Southern Authors.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:19 PM   #14
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Thanks! I'll check it out (is that the Liv Constantine Mrs Parrish?).

I'm just doing Faulkner at the moment.
Yes, it's the book by Liv Constantine, which is a pseudonym for two sisters.
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Old 12-09-2017, 02:42 AM   #15
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I've often found that, unless absolutely necessary, it's best to avoid doing either flashbacks or dual points of view. Well, outside of the normal narrative I mean. The only time I've actually had to use something like that, I only covered the first view in detail, and made the other character an observer in the second. IE, the reader already knew what'd happened from the first POV, so the second was more the reactions of the other person who observed the same scene as I didn't need to cover the events twice to get the desired effect. Also, thankfully I've only ever needed to use that once.

So I would say, do action and POV for the first person, and reactions only for the second so you're not doing a "Groundhog Day" on the reader. If there's one thing I hate is when writers do that. It's like, "I already read this. Why are you telling me twice!?" It made me actually change up some scenes in a series I'm working on right now to avoid that very thing, turning the second POV into nothing but a teaser for what was coming next rather than repeating it over again verbatim in the next book.
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