So, if you're a writer who plans an outline, you can plan your tie-backs, if not, you can always add tie-backs in revision.
1) The flashback - we've all seen them done in movies where it gets blurry and immediately we're thrown back in time and everything's explained.
However, there are problems with tie-backs done this way:
a) they're cliche - writers use them too much instead of finding a creative way to explain their actions and motives
b) they stop the story to go back
c) the last problem and one of my biggest writing peeves: they lead to dream sequences!
Please, I beg you, limit your dream sequences! Please, for the love of my sanity!
2) Foreshadowing - another overused technique. In case you don't know what it means, here's a definition from Wikipedia: (notice how many times the writers uses the words 'in other words ' in his definition)
"Foreshadowing ... provide[s] clues for the reader to be able to predict what might occur later on in the story. In other words, it is a literary device in which an author drops hints about the plot and what may come in the near future or, in other words, the plot developments to come later in the story."
In other words, it assumes the reader is too dumb to get the point so they foreshadow a big scene more than once. And when the big scene actually arrives, the reader says, 'deja vu.'
So, does this mean that you should not use foreshadowing and flashbacks? No. But, don't overuse them.
Be creative with your flashbacks and produce surprise effects with your foreshadowing. It can be done and probably you've seen them in your favorite novels.
More on this topic next week.
Source: Brainstormer Writing Series
This award was given me by Patricia Stoltley. She has a wonderful writing blog and she writes great mysteries set in Colorado. Check out her blog.
I give the award to:
1) Reaganstar at Star Shadow Creative Mishaps.
2) Stephen at Breakthrough Blogs
3) Rachel at I Picked up a Pen One Day
5) Erica at laugh.write.play