Question are flashbacks annoying or intresting if so why?

Discussion in 'Novel General' started by mja, Oct 12, 2017.

?

flash backs or flash fronts

  1. yay 4 flash backs

    13 vote(s)
    18.6%
  2. im fudgin tired of flashbacks breaking the pace of the novel

    16 vote(s)
    22.9%
  3. wtf are flash fronts (who knows)

    12 vote(s)
    17.1%
  4. My name is Barry Allen and I'm the fastest man alive, I am The Flash.

    29 vote(s)
    41.4%
  1. amanji

    amanji Member

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    I find that flashbacks are rarely a problem in novels but in TV they are used far too much and ruin things.
     
  2. Miri-Bell

    Miri-Bell Semi-crazy Magic Cat

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    Depends on the type of story and how well it's done. Not Naruto type flashbacks where you can't take a step without tripping over one.
     
  3. Land of The Fallen

    Land of The Fallen Always Sleepy

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    Flashbacks are fine for me since I usually stack my novels which means I can just skip past most of the flashback.
    Same when it's a movie.

    However as you can tell from the fact that I usually skip past flashbacks, I don't quite enjoy them. They may be necessary, but I just want to know what's happening next...
     
  4. Asterisk Zero

    Asterisk Zero Zeroine

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    well as long as 'twas delivered/written nicely then it's fine
     
  5. slayer6950

    slayer6950 Member

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    In my opinion, flashbacks are best done as a short cut scene to a relevant event that connects a dot or two of the story without telling the complete history of the character. A flashback should be at most a few paragraphs to a page, not an entire chapter, and not used too often. If you have to keep doing flashbacks to explain the story, then you should reconsider your chapter order or include it in the prologue in some way.

    For example, a character having a flashback to a conversation (which hasn't already been described previously) to reach an epiphany relevant to the situation. We don't need a flashback to the backstory of the character for his 3 semesters of Latin just to explain why he can translate it. But, a flashback to a specific conversation containing a proverb that leads to completing the currently needed translation helps add to the backstory without beating the reader over the head with it.
     
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  6. justmehere

    justmehere Well-Known Member

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    I have a horrible story associated with flashbacks.

    I was watching berserk anime given by my friend. His first 2 cds were damaged, and I didnt bother to browse what it was about. I was really getting into it due to the medieval settings of the story and how terrific guts was.

    Boy did it screw me up in the end when Griffith turned into a god with tentacles raping the girl ..... I was cursing "WHAT THE HELL HAVE I BEEN WATCHING?"
    So yeah, the entire scene that i watched was flashback.... If I had known this was a monster anime I wouldnt watch it....
     
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  7. MangoGuy

    MangoGuy Rambling Mango

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    As long as I remember the original story line even after the flashback is completed, good. This was the issue with magi.
     
  8. infinit3aura

    infinit3aura [Infinit3 Clan] [delirious army] [title #3]

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    Isn't a 'flashforward' or ' flashfront' just foreshadowing?
     
  9. A.I.M.E-02847

    A.I.M.E-02847 Well-Known Member

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    Flashback is good if it is not that too long or from the most popular/important character.
    If it become too long with unnecessary stuff it become annoying.
     
  10. fuzor100

    fuzor100 《Gokai Red Behind the Brick!》

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    At first I don't mind one piece flashback. But now I feel annoyed at how they have to flashback before fighting a big battle.

    I was expecting a fight, but the author said this week release is a flashback.
    You readers have to wait for 1 month before the big battle.
    (If the release is once a month, mostly for manga.)
    @#$%!!
     
  11. chopin124

    chopin124 Well-Known Member

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    It has to really serve the story... kinda hard to explain, though I haven't off the top of my head any examples of flashbacks done well... It has to be a pivotal moment and used as something to develop a character and/or give some downtime/introspection. If it's a flashback just for the sake of having a flashback... (e.g. extended action scenes where you know the character survives...) then I'll hate it... If its a flashback that may help with a twist and/or story pay off, I generally don't mind (but that feeling comes after completing a story.

    One sort of flashback that I think was really well written was in Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy :) it may bother some, but I personally loved the diary snippets/flashback to ages before the events of the novel shtick :)

    EDIT: Oh, I generally hate weekly release flashbacks xD
    If it's a full-fledged novel and so long as it doesn't go on and on or so long as there aren't too many, then they're ok :3 it's a storytelling device; it all depends on the execution of the flashback for me :)
     
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  12. Mortifer

    Mortifer Harbinger of Death - One who transcends Life

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    You could just give out hints of the mc's past instead of flash backs.. Definitely much more interesting and not so boring
     
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  13. Defroma

    Defroma Member

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    Yep that could be a lot better and if the author mess something or somewhere with hints then its easy to fix
     
  14. Little Meatball Fan

    Little Meatball Fan Member

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    I kinda like flashbacks... You know, as long as it's not abrupt or feel forced. Though maybe I'm just biased...
     
  15. Mortifer

    Mortifer Harbinger of Death - One who transcends Life

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    And honestly, flash backs can be a major turn-off for those who have seen very long ones in the past or the badly done ones.. I have seen flashbacks that were entertaining but most of the time most people would just think "Just get on with it!"
     
  16. Nimroth

    Nimroth TKA Fanboy

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    I don't particularly like or dislike flashbacks but I would say that they are probably easier to do wrong than right.
    In my opinion at least they should be used sparingly, only when it serves a purpose for the story and it should be done with a fluid transition between the present scene and the flashback, for example it can work well if it starts with a character telling a story of his past to other characters and the scene then switches to a flashback of those events.
    No thanks it is a flashback that starts out of no where just to foreshadow or reveal information(that have not been mentioned anywhere else) that will be important just a couple chapters later or if it is just pure filler that drags down the pacing of the story.
    Have to say though that I'm probably a bit more forgiving of flashbacks in visual mediums such as comics/manga, tv series and movies as those can transition to flashbacks more fluidly than novels as they don't need to use words for it.

    Flashforwards on the other hand can be far worse than flashbacks, if not done carefully these don't risk just dragging down the story but even breaking it as you are not just giving backstory but rather giving conclusions to events in the actual plot, possibly before those events have even started in the present.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  17. scribbledoutname

    scribbledoutname Well-Known Member

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    It depends. Generally speaking I can't stand flashbacks as they ruin the pace of the story and I very rarely care about reading something that can be summed up. ON THE OTHER HAND there are times where you want to see something for yourself. If it's been hyped enough, and you're about to learn some juicy secrets, then it's more interesting. Personally, the only "flashbacks" I like seeing are where the MC uses a device to witness the past. This way it's still relevant to the story. A normal flash back is basically the same thing as exposition as it doesn't have any impact on the present as nobody learns anything new.

    TL;DR: The flashback must be short and to the point, and reveal the answer to juicy secrets. Or the MCs must participate by looking at it through some device, or the flashback must represent someone's explanation. That way it's relevant and not boring.

    But yes, flashbacks are annoying overall.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  18. Too Honest

    Too Honest Creature of Repressed Desires

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    IMMA STOP YA RIGHT THERE.

    Flashbacks: ONLY RELEVANT/Necessary WHEN
    1. Adding Backstory/Character Depth
    2. We are flashing info from 3+ volumes ago (assuming the flashbacks are kept short and to the point)
    3. We need to stall the ending
    4. We dont feel like reaching the climax yet
    5. The character has Amnesia(BTW, WORST Trope)
    6. ^ 2 of the above arent supposed to b on the list, and one is utterly disgusting to read/watch
     
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  19. Lord Blitz

    Lord Blitz 『new member』

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    My name is Barry Allen and I'm the fastest man alive. When I was a child, I saw my mother killed by something impossible. My father went to prison for her murder. Then an accident made me the impossible. To the outside world, I'm just an ordinary forensic scientist, but secretly I use my speed to fight crime and find others like me, and one day I'll find who killed my mother and get justice for my father. I am The Flash.
     
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  20. Asf

    Asf 《《The aria of souls》》

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    Im okay with flashback if its short..
    An arc dedicated to flashback isnt fun to read.