Learning from a master

I’ve been reviewing my non-fiction manuscript and have decided to change the beginning. I’ve always felt like the beginning of the story lets me down a bit. Given that the MS I’m talking about was my first attempt at creative writing, it’s not surprising that my writing improved as the story progresses. While I think some of the storyline which takes place in the beginning needs to remain in the novel, there’s no need to be linear about these things. I was thinking about my options this morning and realised that I could weave it into the story later as a bit of a flashback.

As a reader, I sometimes find flashbacks an irritating and unnecessary distraction. So in an attempt to hone my skill at transporting the reader to an earlier time in my story, I’ve decided to learn from a master. To that end, I went searching this morning for my John Irving novels. While he is a master of the flashback, his skill being particularly good in A Widow for One Year.  I remember reading that book and being so asborbed in his lenghty but absolutely seemless flashbacks that when the story returned to the present time, I had completely forgotten about it.

Wish me luck and I embark on the daunting journey of chopping and changing the first third of my novel. Seriously though – I’m just glad to be working again.


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