I been dancing around this topic for a while now but I been trying to save it since most of my short stories within the Blue Hour Series will contain this technique;The narrative framing or bookend with flashbacks technique. Or “the here and now story”, where the story is just one long flashback .
The reason I’m setting up my short stories like this is because I want to create an anthology or some sort of Chronicles of the history of my world for my main character .
You’ve seen this technique before. It has been around since practically the beginning of time. It has been done well in books like Canterbury Tales, The Odyssey and The Notebook.
What are these two techniques? Why do I think it works well together for short stories? Is it okay to use it as a main writing tool throughout your fiction piece ? How can you use it correctly. Let’s delve deeper.
Framing devices are a unique and strong writing tool to use within the novel. It is essentially a story within a story told by an outside narrator. Whereas a flashback is a scene within a scene that transports readers back to a significant event in the past.
I think as a writer they are not the same but these two techniques can go hand and hand helping each other out. Used correctly these two techniques can create a powerful hold on readers allowing the reader the suspension of belief .
Flashbacks work well with a framing device especially when the main story of your novel or short story is one long flashback where the character is remembering something. But the characters’ backstory must be interesting enough and matter for the effect of the flashback device to work well . And what’s even better the backstory must move the story forward and be a plot catalyst. Plot revelations must arise that makes the conflict even more intense than what it was at the beginning .
By using the framing technique it easily sets up the story and used as a guide for the reader letting them know what the story eventually will be like within the flashback . It also sets the tone of a story and can signal the main theme.
Is it okay to use it as a main writing tool throughout your fiction piece?
Although using a framing device is a unique and fun tool and it is also basically a challenging balancing act that is fraught with risk. It is said that a framing device can be too easy and seem like blatant exposition. Thus the writer seems lazy . So if you are going to use it make sure you ask yourself why your story needs it?
How can you use The Framing device correctly.
Hook the reader first
Make it clear you are going into a flashback.
Find a trigger to ignite the flashback.
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WHAT FRAMING STORY HAVE YOU READ OR WROTE ?
I want to know so let me know in the comments below.
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