April 6, 2013

Flashforward & Flashback = F: Blogging from A to Z

Wouldn't it have been cool for F to fall on Friday? But, alas, it's fantastic to discuss F on Saturday.

My whole life I've either had a book or a pen in my hand. I can remember staying up to all hours with a flashlight and a book, my parents constantly stopping by to beg me to put the book down and get some sleep.

When I close my eyes, I can see the cover of one of my... by New York Times bestselling author, Tia Silverthorne Bach. 

Just a quick flashback and flashforward based on my life.


(from The Free Dictionary.com)
A literary or cinematic device in which an earlier event is inserted into the normal chronological order of a narrative.

(from The Free Dictionary.com)
A literary or cinematic device in which the chronological sequence of events is interrupted by the interjection of a future event.

Both of these tools, if timed well, can add a lot to a story. However, they can easily throw the reader for a loop if not properly presented. Nothing is worse than reading a story that goes back and forth without giving readers time to adjust or even know where they are.

One of the best examples of well-done flashbacks I've read recently... Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah. (my review is here) In Winter Garden, Kristin Hannah weaved past and present into an intricate and gut-wrenching tale. 

Flashforward is another beast altogether. Where flashbacks are most often used to grow characters, flashforwards tend to build story by predicting what might happen. Or what really will happen in the case of time travel. 

What's your favorite example of either flashforwards or flashbacks in either a book, movie, or television series?

Also, if you could flashforward into your future, what might you see?

Please take a moment to check out other F posts and some great A to Z participants here.


Susan Oloier said...

Tia, great post! I've always appreciated the artistry in the movie Momento.
You dedicated reader/writer, you! Using a flashlight. Can't say I ever did that.

Unknown said...

Flash forward for me II'd see me sitting on tne porch of my get away cabin in the woods writing. Never know it might happen, my house mortgage is paid off this year. :)

Barbara White Daille said...

Hi, Tia - like you, I've always had a book or pen in my hand. I'll need to start practicing on that visualization, though. ;)

And like you, I'd have loved F day to be on Friday. Oh, well.

It's too early for me to come up with examples, so in a backhanded way I'll say the type of flashforward I *don't* like is when an exciting scene or snippet from the book is shown first as a prologue. Maybe just a pet peeve, as I know it's done....

F is for Fiction, Freedom, and Flagman's Folly
The Daille-y News

Elise Fallson said...

I don't often use flashbacks or forwards, but like you said, they can be a useful tool if used correctly. And if I could flashforward, I'd probably want to see what happens 100 years from now, after my life on Earth. Great post, Tia!

Carol Kilgore said...

I used to use a flashlight, too :)
Stopping by from A-Z.

Jo Michaels said...

I did a buttload of flashforwards in Yassa because Genghis Khan had premonitions and spoke to God. Go figure... No, he really did (or thought he did). :) WRITE ON!