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Do You Appreciate Flashback Techniques In Novels?

This is where a writer pauses in the flow of a story and inserts an event from the past. I do use this technique in my writing as one of the tools to create tension or conflict. 

However I have heard many writing experts say that the flashback technique should be avoided entirely. I think i understand their point especially with the example of some Nigerian movies that overuse it. But i still think it can be useful in buiding a story.

As a reader what do you think? Does the flashback technique break your reading experience and pull you out of the story?

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5 answers

Newera,

If humans have reflections and talk about the good old days and even recollect the memories of their past nightmares, writers should tell their stories naturally as humans think and feel.

Any of the so called writing experts saying the flashback technique should be avoided is ignorant of the importance of the flashback technique.

Are you writing to impress the writing experts or to tell us about the experiences of the existential realities of life from the past to the present and even to the future?

The best writing guide is the Holy Bible, because in simple narrative in prose and verse, God told us His story (history) of life from the past before creation, to Adam and Eve and the chronicles and then He took us into the future in the Revelation.

What matters most in writing is to master your medium of communication, the knowledge and usage of the language you have chosen and you can tell us your stories in any style of technique you prefer as long as you will entertain and enlighten your target audience.

Let your spirit flow like water regardless of the size, shape or colour of the container.

It is either a good work or a bad work.

Finis.

Life goes on.

The more original the better.

In the story of my Twister Child, the mother told the daughter to look into her eyes and as she gazed at her, she saw the vistas of the past when her mother was a child in Europe and she was transported back in time to her mother's period. And through her journey into the past, I narrated how the Agbe spirit of the whirlwind came into their life.

In another story, an aging Ashewo in Lagos was looking at herself in the mirror and soon became enraptured in her memories and through her recollections, she took the readers back to how she left Umunede in Delta state for Lagos and how she turned to prostitution on Ayilara Street in Ojuelegba, Lagos. And through her, I narrated the good old days of the 1970s with Fela Anikulapo's Kalakuta Republic in Moshalashi, and Bobby Benson's Hotel Bobby in Fadeyi, Lagos.

What is history?

His story.

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I love flashback. And a lot too.

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I know Half of a yellow sun recently won the Orange Prize, but I found the use of flashbacks a bit awkward in the book

I felt a bit manipulated, and thought it a bit disingenuous on her part.

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'Overuse' is an understatement for some Nigerian movies.

I share this view too. But too much of flashbacks ruins the flow.

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No comments from the literary analysts in the house?

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