Backstory and its kissing cousin flashback are techniques authors use to provide amplifying information about a situation, a location, or a character. Flashbacks and backstory differ from “front story” in that the author jumps away from the story’s current timeline to relate them, then returns to the story’s present to continue.
Jumping forward in time—a “flash forward”—can have the same purpose, and everything below also applies to it.
Good Backstory Technique
Flashing back is just a technique for relating backstory. A brief interruption of the story’s flow, it can be:
- Initiated by the narrator to provide information not available to the characters or which would be unnatural for the characters to provide;
- A chara...