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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.

 What is these two techniques?

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. 

  Why do I  think   it works  well together  for short stories?

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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Check out  the teaser  of my  upcoming  short  story , IN THE HOUR OF HUMANITY  COMING  SOON