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flashbacks in chapter one...what's your opinion?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
What's your opinion on flashbacks in chapter one?

I've heard it both ways, mostly against...but I'm thinking of adding one and I'm liking what I see...

is there some rule against them? Agents/Editors/Publishers hate them? Readers don't like them? Or is it ok to use them if they work?
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
if there is are flashbacks in chapter one, do you like them all to be about the same general event/place/time?

Or do you think a flashback in chapter one would do better as a prologue?
post #3 of 7
There aren't any in mine...

My understanding is...agents don't particularly like them...

I think it depends on what it does...if it serves a purpose of if it is better another way
post #4 of 7
My understanding is the same as allgirls - agents don't care for them. I have seen the flashback serve as the Prologue and then Chaper One is present-day. My understanding with Prologues is that agents have a love-hate relationship with them.

All of that means I am no help. lol
post #5 of 7
Are you talking about a true flashback, or events told through memory? I can think of many successful novels that begin with a past event told through a character's present memory, but that's not really a flashback per se.
post #6 of 7
As a reader, they bug me. There are places where flashbacks work, structurally - say, when a character has forgotten something important, or when new information allows past events to finally make sense, or in cases where the absence of certain information is crucial to the plot. In all of these cases, the flashback makes sense because the rest of the story provides context for it.

In chapter one, my feeling about flashbacks is that perhaps you should have started the story at an earlier point. Depending on the flashback, it might be a prologue, or it might actually be chapter one and you might actually be writing some later chapter.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
hmmm...very good point MeepyCat...

I think for now I'm going to abandon chapter one and press on...in the hopes that by chapter 25 it'll strike me as to what I should do.

Chapter ones have so much riding on them, if I stay with it and keep working on it and re-editing it over and over, I'll never get done with the rest of the edits...

thanks all
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