Day 57 – Change is good

Day fifty-seven of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words: 500

When I sat down to write tonight I was experiencing an inner battle of sorts. I needed to decide whether to keep writing the current story line or develop more of the back story. I chose to develop more of the back story because I was feeling the need for some change. I absolutely despise when it happens, but I must admit that there are times when even I don’t enjoy the story. Those are the moments when change is good. Change is necessary.

Change, I did. I allowed my writing to go on a little detour and it was great. I didn’t have to struggle with the part I had been writing up to today. I focused on the back story and enjoyed the departure from the main story. I will have more to write in the “detour” tomorrow and I am already looking forward to it. My hope is that when it is time to return to the main story line, I will be recharged and able to enjoy it again.

Day 56 – Incorporating a character’s flashbacks into the story

Day fifty-six of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words: 1,200

(Total words for the weekend: 1,700)

Today I worked on a chapter in which the main character remembers something from her childhood. I had originally intended for her flashback to be quick and to the point, but it got much more involved and lengthy. The story developed nicely and her memory of what happened more than fifteen years ago (from her present day) gives some good insight into her make-up as an adult.

Although it is an excellent window into the main character’s history as well as a good tie-in to what is happening to her currently and why she is handling it the way she is, this flashback does bring up a dilemma for me surrounding the timing. It wouldn’t be a creative process without a dilemma of some sort, right?

Writing a flashback into a story is, in my opinion, an effective tool to help the reader get to know a character. I have done it previously in this book, but this particular flashback makes me wonder if it should be occurring earlier in the story. The dilemma is this: Is it possible to screw up the timing of a flashback? Is it ever too late to give the reader more history about a character? My instinct with regard to the latter tells me ‘no,’ but it would be helpful to hear from other writers about their use of flashbacks because I do generally believe that timing can be crucial.

The information revealed in this particular flashback is information the reader doesn’t need to have earlier in the story, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t come earlier. Perhaps the reader will feel cheated not learning of it sooner. It’s tough to tell at this point but I am going to make note of it for later.