© Kathy Ide, 2010
In this column, freelance author, editor, and speaker Kathy Ide shares tips on self-editing your manuscript.
As mentioned last week, writing flashbacks well can be a difficult task. But they can be highly effective if you do them right.
In addition to last week’s suggestions, here are a few more.
You may prefer to use a sudden interruption of the character’s thoughts. For example:
[Following a few paragraphs of flashback about Melinda . . .]As Melinda lay dying in his arms, she’d whispered the words he had been longing to hear, the ones that would change his life forever—
The sound of a slamming door jarred Bill from his memories.
Flashbacks can be an effective fiction tool when used properly and judiciously. When they’re not written well, or if they’re overused, they can stall the pace, interrupt the flow, or even bore the reader. So analyze every flashback to make sure it is truly needed. And if it is, make sure it is written in such a way that it will enhance, not detract from, your story.
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Kathy Ide has written books, articles, play and movie scripts, short stories, devotionals, and curriculum. Her books include Polishing the PUGS and Fiction and Truth. Kathy is a full-time freelance editor, offering a full range of editorial services for authors and publishers. She also speaks at writers’ conferences across the country. She is the founder and coordinator of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network (www.TheChristianPEN.com) and the Christian Editor Network (www.ChristianEditor.com). To find out more, please visit www.KathyIde.com.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Kathy Ide’s Editing Tips
~ FLASHBACKS (part two) ~
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