Overall Goal: Figure out my writing process
1. Read more books in my genre.
2. Read more books on craft and apply the lessons to my writing.
Forgive me, for I have not posted in the last few updates.
Did anyone even notice? There’s almost eighty of them.
There wasn’t much to report. “Hey, guys, I still suck. ‘Til next time!” I got stuck in The Rut for a while, but I’m out for now, thanks to my buddies, and I come with progress.
I read a chunk of Techniques of the $elling Writer by Dwight V. Swain and one section dealt with scene don’ts. Among them was the flashback. Swain had a great and simple way of explaining why this is a don’t. It’s not realistic. If you’re in a situation with conflict, the last thing you’re going to do is reminisce. I’ll use Terminator 2 as an example.
So, it’s the scene where the Terminator and John Connor are set to break Sarah Connor out of the crazy house. There’s an urgency to this rescue mission because the other Terminator, the evil one, is on the way there too. To kill and assume Sarah’s identity.
John’s Terminator successfully takes out the guards. No one can stop them from getting in. Now imagine instead of doing just that, John says, “You know, T, this reminds of the time Mom and I broke into this laboratory. I was younger and really scared, but she wasn’t. She kicked those guards’ asses just like you. Even though I was scared I felt safe. Kind of like now. Let’s go get Mom.”
Be honest, after you leapt through the movie screen, hoping to land in the T2 world so you could slap John upside the head, you’d be asking the manager for your money back.
Why would John, for one second, think about anything but saving his mom? Because conflict takes all thought except the matter at hand away.
I knew flashbacks were unnecessary for most of fiction, but Swain’s example made the reason why so much clearer that it’ll be very hard to make this mistake. Yay for that.