maybe it’s me, but…

… I seem to have issues with ‘the flashback’.

I can’t put my finger on what it is I’ve got mixed feelings about exactly; however, I’m extremely critical (yeah, yeah, K Z, when am I not *rolls eyes*) of the technique when it is used in writing and I hate ’em with a passion when it comes to film.

What?! Did any of you see the last season Battlestar Galactica! Half of it consisted of totally unnecessary flashbacks. A complete waste of fraking time! *Grrrr.*

Like many aspects about writing I guess my main issue with the flashback is its relevancy to and the way in which it is used in the story. For example, in With Caution, J L Langley very effectively uses Remi’s dreams to explore his repressed memories and in The White Knight, Josh Lanyon subtlely weaves between past and present by using different points of view.

Having said this, considering my probs with letters in stories, I could just be developing a phobia to large chunks of italicised text in fiction.

It’s possible. This is me after all.

About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
This entry was posted in maybe it's me but, reading, serious randomness, tropes. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to maybe it’s me, but…

  1. Lily says:

    So now you've got problems with poor innocent defenseless italics???

    LOL *g*

  2. Kris says:

    Shit stirrer.

  3. Lily says:


    ♥♥♥♥♥ 😉

  4. K. Z. Snow says:

    Since you've dragged me into this, you know what I'm sick of in books?

    Words. All those damned words crawling across the pages like phalanxes of fleas. I just wrote a book without using any words. Now let's see if somebody has the 'nads to review it.


  5. Sean Kennedy says:

    I'm trying to figure out a way you can never get your hands on my second solo novel.

  6. Jenre says:

    I have to agree with you on this topic, Kris. I'm not fond of the flashback either. I don't mind the odd one in a book where a character remembers something that happened to them and I also didn't mind it in The White Knight because I knew before I read it what the structure was going to be.

    The lengthy surprise flashback, though – no thanks.

    There was this historical romance that everyone raved on about and I couldn't get past the first 4 chapters because it had a pattern of one chapter present, followed by one chapter flashback, one chapter present etc. I felt that the author was toying with me because each chapter sort of left on a minor cliffhanger and then I had to wait until after the next chapter to find out what was going on. It was very irritating.

  7. Kris says:

    Lily: Meanie.

    KZ: No words, eh?? You'd prob'ly find a reviewer who would praise it the heavens as a post-modern, existential form of the m/m genre, which is not only an interpretation of but a protest against the fundamentalist fear inherent in Prop 8.

    Me, I'd just hope you drew pretty boy love pictures instead.

  8. Ingrid says:

    What story brought this on Kris??

    In general I don't mind flashbacks as long they are short and fit the story.

    In the DSP june anthology are quite a few stories with flashbacks. If they were not there one would
    have a harder time getting the story.

  9. Kris says:

    Sean: You could try banning me perhaps, but the Secret Sisterhood of Stalkers would still secure me a copy. There would be no escape, oh paranoid one. 😉

    Jen: Poo to the lengthy, random flashback (you taking notes, Sean??) and that every single chapter thing would have driven me absolutely batty. I think one of the reasons why I have such mixed feelings about it is precisely because it can be very jarring and confusing for the reader.

  10. Kris says:

    Ingrid: There were a couple in the DSP anthology, which was prob'ly what prompted this post. The one that I think worked the best was Chrissy Munder's short were the recollections were short and showed the couple's life.

    I'm also reading a fantasy which has an intro and an end set in the present time, but the rest – the bulk – of the book is the main protag recounting his life story to someone. Kind of one giant flashback sans the italics.

  11. jitterbug says:

    I'm also reading a fantasy… etc

    Oh, hey! I have this book in my TBR pile too.

    Flashbacks… mh… while generally I don't mind them, they usually leave me a little sad. Maybe because they relate something that was and can't be changed? I don't know, there's often some kind of unhappiness, or regret, in the characters who start thinking about their past. Of course it isn't always so ;).

  12. Kris says:

    Jitterbug: Those Book Smugglers be good pimps. 🙂

    You know I hadn't really thought of the sadness aspect of it, but I definitely agree with you. I've also noticed the nostalgic feel of flashbacks, which – and this may sound mean-spirited – has always struck me as being self-indulgent. Does that make sense??

    “Of course it isn't always so ;).”

    You thinking about sex again?? Perve.

  13. Tam says:

    *shrug* Damn I'm easy (spread the word will ya?) because I can't think of a case of flashbacks that annoyed me. Or else I just block out the annoying things in my life. I dunno but from the comments its not just you so take heart.

  14. K. Z. Snow says:



    That's from the blurb.

  15. K. Z. Snow says:

    Oops. Forgot a couple of commas.

  16. Lily says:

    Awww Kris, you know I love ya!!

    I don't really mind the flasbacks too much. As a matter of fact a book that I've read a couple of times and loved, A Red-Tainted Silence, uses flashbacks as part of telling the protags story of the past ten years. The book alternates heavily between the past and present but it works really well and is an awesome book.

  17. Lily says:

    @ KZ

    When's the new book coming out? The blurb was fascinating 😉

  18. Tracy says:

    Let's all flashback to a time when Kris didn't have a problem with books

    Just kidding! You know I love your “maybe it's me” posts. 🙂

    KZ – I haven't laughed that hard in a long damn time. Thank you.

    Jenre – what historical are you speaking of? I know, curiosity killed the cat. Whatever. 🙂

  19. Kris says:

    Tam: Maybe we should start calling you 'The Easy Denier'. It's got a nice ring to it. 😉

    KZ: I dunno. Forgetting the poor grammar, blurbs with just one sentence don't really work for me. I think you should go for a couple of blurb questions. For eg:


  20. Kris says:

    Lily: Nice save. 😉

    I don't think I've read “A Red-Tainted Silence”. Ummm, I'll have a thunk on it.

    Tracy: Yeah, yeah. *mutterrudebuggersthelotofyamutter*

  21. Ana says:

    So, does that mean you are NOT in love with the book you are reading?


  22. Kris says:

    You expect me to answer that Ana?? LOL.

    I think it was more that I should have read your review more thoroughly so I wasn't so surprised. That'll learn me. 😉

    I know I'll get used to it the style, plus Patrick's prose is such a sheer joy to read I think I'll find it EXTREMELY accessible.

    That prologue… I think I've said before but it bears repeating – it was like reading beauty. Simply breathtaking.

  23. Ana says:

    “That prologue… I think I've said before but it bears repeating – it was like reading beauty. “

    I really love how you said it. “Reading Beauty” (tm Kris) , I will so use this for future books! : D

    you know, whe you wrote the post, I went back to the review just to make sure that i did mention that the book was Kote telling his story. Phew. LOL

  24. Kris says:

    LOL. Told you it was me, Ana. I blame the fact that I skimmed and skipped so as to avoid any spoilers and then I was distracted by a certain reviewer's desire to have babies with it. 🙂

    FYI – I take copyright payments in the form of free books. 😉

  25. Ozakie says:

    Kris, and her maybe its me posts..Sigh..Gotta love them..I really do..everytime I read them I like oh my what is bothering my lil pigtailed freckled girl now? LOL

  26. Kris says:

    *wondering if I should start to get a complex*

    Naw. 😉

  27. jessewave says:

    I'm with you – I don't like a lot of flashbacks. I think it's just lazy writing. Someone mentioned “A Red Tainted Silence” which was well written but the flashbacks made me stop a couple of times and put the book down. The book is 600 pages at least and the reason I finished it is the story was very good but those damn flashbacks ###@@@&&&&&?????

    I have been wanting to review this book for ages but the thought of re-reading it, (I read it a couple of years ago when it was released) is daunting!

    I love your new book. When can I get it to review? Is it part of a series? I think I'll post the blurb.*g*

    I want to know where you got those ♥♥♥♥♥. I have been trying to get them for ages so that I can stalk a few people but my computer doesn't have them.


    I'm trying to figure out a way you can never get your hands on my second solo novel.

    Does this apply to me too?

  28. Lily says:


    1- I'm the one who mentioned A Red-Tainted Silence. Normally not too fond of a lot of flashbacks but I totally loved that book. I read it again for the M/M Challenge.

    2- I know, aren't the ♥♥♥ cute. It's an ascii code and is made by holding the Alt key and then clicking on the #3 on the number pad. Check out this link for more interesting codes.

  29. Kris says:

    Wave: I think I'm going to have to read the excerpt of this book just to see what it's like. Sounds very flashbacky to me.

    Lily: Hey thanks! I've been meaning to ask how you do them as well. Cool.

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