4 reasons not to use flashbacks

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Discussing whether flashbacks are a good idea with writers is about as easy as trying to choose your favorite Star Wars movie. There really isn’t one definitive answer. We just want to say that avoiding flashbacks more often than not is probably a good rule of thumb for all screenwriters. Here’s why:

How much better is it that Jake tells Evelyn about what it was like to work in Chinatown rather than cutting away from this moment to see it? Photo courtesy: Paramount Pictures

No. 1 — Flashbacks take you out of the main plot

Your audience likes your character and your storyline, so why do you want to yank them from it by taking them to another time? I know, I know, it’s because you need to explain something. But you see, that right there is the reason why you shouldn’t be doing it. Writers aren’t supposed to “explain” things in scripts. You do have to give the audience information, but it needs to come through plot and character — and always if you can, through conflict. It’s better to see your character react to the information the writer wants to get out there in the here and now rather than have it explained in flashback.

We never see what happened before Chief Brody came to Amity Island. Photo courtesy: Universal Pictures

No. 2 – Flashbacks prevent you from moving story forward in another creative way

Learning about some terrible deed or deep back story is an excellent way for us to get closer to your character and understand him or her in a way that illuminates the plot. But if you let this conflict play out in the present with those who surround your character, it will undoubtedly make for better conflict. Let’s look at Jaws for example. Do we need to see what happened to Chief Brody in New York City that made him abandon his job and move to the island? Why is he afraid of the water? These are questions that could be answered in flashback, but instead the writer chose to advance the plot around these questions, giving the audience a deeper experience by leaving some things unsaid.

No. 3 – Flashbacks give everyone an amateur vibe

It’s a tough one to hear, but flashbacks are often used by new writers because it is an easy way to explain something that happened in the past. And, that’s not to say that they can’t be used sometimes, but more often than not, you can find a work around. Challenge yourself to see how you can get this information out without going back in time. It could come out in dialog. Your character could find an old object – like a necklace or a ring – and speak to someone else in the present about how he or she is feeling. Or better yet, another character notices how upset your protagonist is when he or she picks up the ring and then pushes for answers. This is how you get conflict – in the here and now – into a scene and also give us the information that would come out in the flashback. That said, if you want to do a campy horror mashup, like Wayne’s World, then maybe a flashback could bring a comedic a vibe to your film.

The audience never sees the fight John McClane gets into with his wife prior to her moving to L.A. Instead, that backstory is incorporated into the current plot. Photo courtesy: Twentieth Century Fox

No. 4 — Flashbacks take the best moments away from your actors

What’s worse, seeing the terrible childhood and abuse on screen or seeing an actor relive those moments with years of anger, frustration and sadness on his or her face? Why take this moment of remembrance and have your director cast it with another actor who isn’t even playing the role of the protagonist? You’re robbing your cast of being able to express this moment again, in the here and now.

These are just a few reasons why challenging yourself to avoid flashbacks could make your scenes more exciting, your dialog more interesting and your script more appealing to cast. But we’d love to hear your thoughts, too. Why do you think avoiding flashbacks is a good idea?

author-avatar

Jenna Milly is Editor-in-chief of ScreenwritingU Magazine, an inside source for the latest scoop from the screenwriter's POV on upcoming movies. She interviews some of the top writers in Hollywood for such movies as The Revenant, The MartianMission: Impossible and many others. She co-created the TBS microseries Gillian in Georgia. She earned her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Georgia and a M.F.A. in Screenwriting from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television. She has written for CNN.com, The Los Angeles Times, Script Magazine, TwelvePoint, and a variety of magazines. You can follow her on Twitter: @jennamilly

54 Replies to "4 reasons not to use flashbacks"

  • comment-avatar
    R.V. January 25, 2018 (2:37 am)

    Reasons to use flashbacks:

    1. Movies are visual story telling, show them rather than tell them

    2. Let the audience decide and discover: dialog may explain too much

    3. Flashbacks can add a change of pace and action: just a couple of people talking can be boring

    4. Flashbacks can add production value, especially if they take the viewers to another time and place

    Flashbacks done right are not for beginners, they require skills and an artistic understanding of visual arts and moviemaking, not just of screenwriting tools.

    • comment-avatar
      Jenna Milly January 25, 2018 (2:44 am)

      Thanks for the comment! All good points.

    • comment-avatar
      Ron January 25, 2018 (5:30 am)

      I agree R.V. with your points! I feel a flashback can be the story. It starts in the present because a current action reminds someone of a personal experience in his or her past that has relevance and then the story returns to the present. I believe that past experience has to be seen on the screen to have value to the audience. Telling the story would be boring to the audience. If I’m not mistaken, didn’t Citizen Kane begin in the present and then the story delves into his past.
      R.P.

    • comment-avatar
      Les Bowser January 25, 2018 (11:56 am)

      To say flashbacks should be avoided is like saying montages should be avoided. Both are simply tools the story-teller can master or fumble. Little Big Man is a total flashback as soon as Dustin Hoffman begins telling his story, but the movie works, not only because of great acting but because the story is consistent in the telling (or “showing” if you feel the need to be pedantic).

      And why should we be afraid of “going back in time?” The collective myth that time only goes in one direction confines us to the overbearing present, even when the future is involved. Writing a script without temporal flexibility is akin to writing one without subtext or having no subplots in the story.

      True, flashbacks are not always the best way to explain what happened or why, but when the writer wishes to keep the audience in suspense until the end, a flashback can be the best way to reveal the solution at the right moment.

      As well, there’s a difference between a character having a flashback and the audience having one. The former involves the character’s memory, the latter provides exposition. Which is better? Only the screenwriter can decide — until the audience decides.

      Let’s not create more scriptwriting rules than we have already.

      • comment-avatar
        Jenna Milly January 27, 2018 (6:35 am)

        Great points! We should definitely write about montages next. Good one!

    • comment-avatar
      scott w January 25, 2018 (1:13 pm)

      Bravo, R.V.

    • comment-avatar
      Lisa Merle February 7, 2018 (1:31 am)

      Ohmigawd ~ “gag me with a spoon!” Flashbacks a no-no??

      I agree with all of the replies countering this “fake news” click-bait story.

      And let’s add a few more movies where flashbacks were a key component of the story:
      (1) Citizen Kane (1941) – mentioned already
      (2) Casablanca (1943) – who can forget that romantic reminiscence of Rick’s?
      (3) Double Indemnity (1944) – great cinema classic
      (4) Mildred Pierce (1945) – Mildred’s account of the past several years of her marriage, children, business, etc. to the police
      (5) Rashomon (1952) – nothing need be said!
      (6) Sophie’s Choice (1982) – critical to Sophie’s story

      • comment-avatar
        Jenna Milly February 8, 2018 (1:29 am)

        Great list, Lisa! Thank you!

  • comment-avatar
    Stan Matthews (deseignora) January 25, 2018 (5:14 am)

    Both have advantages but I see when you say keep in present n describe certain things in the past visually , that keep both characters dilougue in present. It does open up more visual

  • comment-avatar
    William Sommerwerck January 25, 2018 (5:31 am)

    I don’t disagree — using a flashback to “explain” a character’s “character” should be unnecessary, as his or her personality ought to be written into his or her interaction with other characters. But I can think of an example where a flashback should have been used — and (of all movies) it’s in Hitchcock’s “personal favorite”, “Shadow of a Doubt”.

    One of Hitchcock’s storytelling rules was that the audience should be “in” on what’s going on, when the characters aren’t. This builds suspense, as with the “bomb under the table” scenario. He uses it perfectly in “Sabotage”, with the heroine’s younger brother carrying a bomb in a can of movie film. Hitch has the audience on the edge of its collective seat. (This is one of Hitchcock’s British masterpieces. If you haven’t seen it, do so. Does the heroine stab her husband, or does he impale himself on her knife? )

    The trouble with “Shadow of a Doubt” that we know, right from the beginning, Uncle Charlie is the Merry Widow killer. This destroys any suspense about why he’s so secretive. We should be just as curious about it as his niece (also named Charlie). It’s only after he delivers his “human beings are swine” speech that a very brief flashback would confirm his identity. Indeed, “Shadow of a Doubt” could easily be recut, at the expense of creating an abrupt opening. (It could also use a new score, but Herrmann wasn’t writing for Hitchcock at that time.)

    A flashback is sometimes the best way to build suspense, by withholding information until it can be delivered at the best point in the story.

  • comment-avatar
    darlenne January 25, 2018 (6:43 am)

    Another pile of crap from Screenwriting U.

    • comment-avatar
      William Sowles January 25, 2018 (11:18 am)

      Did you take the Pro-Series? It will help you immensely. Keep writing!

      • comment-avatar
        darlenne January 27, 2018 (5:16 am)

        Screenwriter U is in the business of selling dreams to wannabe screenwriters.

        • comment-avatar
          Jenna Milly January 27, 2018 (6:32 am)

          Hi Darlenne, Thank you for your comments. Would love to hear more about your ideas. Thanks!

      • comment-avatar
        Jenna Milly January 27, 2018 (6:36 am)

        So good! Thanks William!

    • comment-avatar
      Jenna Milly January 27, 2018 (6:41 am)

      Thank you for your comment Darleene. Will consider this for future posts.

  • comment-avatar
    Richard 'Duke' Tirschel January 25, 2018 (6:56 am)

    Jenna Milly
    Takes me back to a class you were teaching. My name is Richard “Duke” Tirschel, I live in Canton, Georgia, and I’m still trying to learn how to write. I’m the one who wrote 2 books for Chuck Norris, helped Academy Award actress (and my dear prayer partner) Terry Moore, with her book, “How Do You Stay So Young.” I wrote 3 books of my own but they’re not going anywhere. But I’m going to keep trying… I can’t think of anything else that can get me up, and at my computer, early every the morning. So, I’ll give it another try. I’ll click with something
    I write… someday.
    It was nice seeing you here.
    As Joseph Campbell would say, you are “following your bliss”.

    • comment-avatar
      William Sowles January 25, 2018 (11:19 am)

      I think SWU has a course on turning your book into a movie.

      • comment-avatar
        Jenna Milly January 27, 2018 (6:36 am)

        Yes, let me know if you want more information on that. Thanks!!

    • comment-avatar
      Jenna Milly January 27, 2018 (6:40 am)

      Yes! I remember. So glad you’re still writing. Love Joseph Campbell!

  • comment-avatar
    James January 25, 2018 (7:39 am)

    Another reason to avoid flashbacks, you don’t destroy a treasured film franchise by showing in horribly poor detail what happened to make the villain so bad, alienate your core audience so you dump it all on Disney to exploit for their own profit and where other filmmakers go in later and hack it up just to get some positive feelings back. So, yes, the first three episodes, the prequels, of Star Wars are nothing but a giant failed flashback.

    • comment-avatar
      Jenna Milly January 27, 2018 (6:38 am)

      Well said, James!

  • comment-avatar
    LynnV January 25, 2018 (7:54 am)

    Another problem with flashbacks is they may confuse the audience, like “Why is that guy now in NY married, when he was just in CA divorced?” Even though we may think in the past (remember) or the future (plan, daydream), we live in linear, ongoing time and expect the world to be that way. So flashbacks would have to be done very skillfully to alert the audience that it is a flashback. I don’t even care much for the non-linear style. Funny thing happened the other day, we were watching a movie and it was a bit disjointed at some point. My husband turned to me and asked, “Is that a flashback?” I told him “no.”

    Having said that I realize I did use a couple of very brief flashbacks at the very beginning of a recent script, which could be used during titles: The protagonist, an adult, is carrying a pallet with a dead boy to a grave and has brief childhood flashbacks (totaling less than a minute) of his siblings & mother dying. We get a slight understanding of his emotions, but it doesn’t come out until much later what caused their deaths.

    Also I was planning another script in which the protagonist, a Venusian whose ancestors came from Venus millions of years ago, is now passing as a human linguist. As he decodes and translates some recently found Venusian writings, I was thinking of having a few scenes with those actual ancient Venusians. Not sure how I’m going to do that, since I haven’t even started the beatsheet and not sure how much of the script it would take up (1/4, 1/8 ??), but I’m thinking it might work. They aren’t actual flashbacks of the protag, but scenes that happened millions of years earlier triggered by translations of the writings as they progress. The idea to do that actually came up as I was writing practice scene in a recent SU course and thought them a bit dull and that the flashbacks would spice up the story. It was almost as if those ancient Venusians called out, “What about us? Give us a spot in your story.”

    • comment-avatar
      Jenna Milly January 27, 2018 (6:38 am)

      Great examples! Thank you so much for commenting.

  • comment-avatar
    TS January 25, 2018 (9:03 am)

    Some of the best movies ever filmed use flashbacks: Citizen Kane, The Godfather Part II, Pulp Fiction.

    • comment-avatar
      Jenna Milly January 27, 2018 (6:38 am)

      Great point! Love Godfather Part II

  • comment-avatar
    Cihan Vercan January 25, 2018 (10:09 am)

    test it out
    write multiple drafts and get a table read, picture yourself as the director, would you like the flashback draft better or non-flashback draft? the key is that nobody knows which draft a writer submits its final work. It will always be referred to as the first draft before the shooting draft is scheduled by the directing team.

    flashbacks arise a top unanswered question of all times:
    “Whom ultimately we write scripts for?”

    – If you write script for an actor to star in it, no star does ever need a flashback to gleam its brightness, just as how in proscenium arch stage theatres actors do gleam with keeping all the happenings and occurrences in the present even when they rehearse in a green room
    – If you write it for the studio/producer, let me mention first Mario Puzo’s Godfather II young Robert De Niro scenes are not flashbacks, Godfather II tells two different stories experienced with two different heroes(before they were heroes) took place in two different times, where a flashback is one story carrying one hero into two different time stages, this is of course you may want to bet with the flashbacks, ’cause flashbacks grab audience’s attention and flashbacks make it more visually appealing and easierly understood by any 9 year old kid, and with flashbacks your show can still be on TV even the audience is asleep in front of it, with flashbacks there is no such thing as “cheap” , flashbacks scream “produce me, produce me, produce me” they raise audience appeal and production values high
    – If you write it for the director, thank you, for you’ve written it for me, I will make a shooting draft out of your best draft, so I don’t care whether you use flashbacks or not, I can omit any scenes I like to omit, as I am the final decision maker; before you write a script it is best to know who your producer is, which actors the producer dreams to see the script being played, what kind of a filming director the producer can agree with if it’s finalized, and now I’m talking ancient business
    – If you write it for yourself, for you play, produce, direct it; then you will understand how all means are different, and why there are no real unbreakable rules in creative media writing. You only need to think in their shoes, the bosses who were discussed above.

    • comment-avatar
      Jenna Milly January 27, 2018 (6:38 am)

      This is fabulous advice – test it out! See what happens, it’s a good challenge to see if it works or not. And sometimes, it might.

  • comment-avatar
    JL January 25, 2018 (10:32 am)

    An even better example from Jaws – the Indianapolis story. Much more powerful with Quint telling about it versus a flashback. A deeper lesson from that scene is that words/dialogue don’t make a story less visual or cinematic.

    • comment-avatar
      Jenna Milly January 27, 2018 (6:37 am)

      So true! I should have added that – thank you for commenting. So powerful in the moment.

  • comment-avatar
    Mike January 25, 2018 (11:10 am)

    Flashbacks are a tool that sometimes work best. If a writer has exhausted all other possibilities and the flashback is the best way to go, then go with it. These absolute rules of “never” and “always” don’t work well in creative fields as they are much too limiting and inflexible. Just use them conservatively, as with many things overuse will just confuse the audience. Also, established writers can use them and get away with it whereas a new writer would probably have it held against them as being amateurish. It’s not fair but it’s just the way it is. If Aaron Sorkin uses one it’s brilliant, if a new writer does it’s sophomoric, even if both uses compared equally in their use.
    How about a future article with your take on that other scriptwriting no-no, the voiceover, to really stir things up?

    • comment-avatar
      Jenna Milly January 27, 2018 (6:37 am)

      Great point! Love the word conservatively. That’s excellent advice. 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    William Sowles January 25, 2018 (11:16 am)

    In my movie “Wise Guys Don’t Dance” I used one flashback which was my female lead’s dream. Although it was short, it showed where she came from and where she is going.

    • comment-avatar
      Jenna Milly January 27, 2018 (6:36 am)

      Sounds good William. I think the point everyone is making so well is that they should be well thought out – sounds like you’ve done that in your script. Bravo!

  • comment-avatar
    Mike January 25, 2018 (11:37 am)

    An example of a flashback working much better than just telling is in “The Shawshank Redemption” when Tommy is telling about a former cellmate, Elmo Blatch, and we see Elmo telling the story of how he murdered the golf pro and his mistress, who was married to some banker they pinned it on (the protagonist Andy Dufresne). Simply having Tommy tell the story would have been much less dramatic. Seeing and hearing the murderer tell it and laugh about it was much more effective.
    I’m sure everyone can remember a movie with a flashback that just wouldn’t be as good if the flashback were replaced with exposition to reveal the needed back story.

    • comment-avatar
      Jenna Milly January 27, 2018 (6:35 am)

      Love Shawshank! So good! Great point and everyone should watch again. Love that movie.

  • comment-avatar
    Keith January 25, 2018 (4:28 pm)

    An artist never vows that he won’t use a certain brush when creating his canvass story. When it creates the perfect shade, shape, blend, or contrast, he uses the brush that creates the exact nuance he desires. Although I appreciate the 4 reasons given in this piece, I am keeping all my brushes for possible use in future screenplays and, if the flashback brush is the one to use, I’ll use it appropriately.

    • comment-avatar
      Jenna Milly January 27, 2018 (6:35 am)

      Well said – great point! Love the metaphor of writing like painting.

  • comment-avatar
    S GREENBERG January 25, 2018 (6:31 pm)

    CITIZEN KANE – CASABLANCA – DOLORES CLAIBORNE – THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE – LONE STAR – ETC, ETC, ALL MOVIES IN WHICH FLASHBACKS ARE ESSENTIAL. THE KEY IS HOW ARTFULLY AND CREATIVELY FLASHBACKS ARE USED/TRANSITIONED INTO AND OUT OF. IT’S RIDICULOUS TO SAY THEY SHOULDN’T BE USED; THEY JUST SHOULDN’T BE USED BADLY (LIKE “DISSOLVE TO:”)

    • comment-avatar
      Jenna Milly January 27, 2018 (6:34 am)

      All good movies! I would argue though that Casablanca might be more mysterious and inspire the imagination more if we didn’t see that flashback in Paris, but just some food for thought. Thank you for your comment!

  • comment-avatar
    Erik M. January 25, 2018 (7:24 pm)

    My favorite film “Goodfellas” is structured entirely upon the use of flashbacks. I think it turned out pretty good.

    • comment-avatar
      Jenna Milly January 27, 2018 (6:33 am)

      Great point. Love Goodfellas – excellent exception!

  • comment-avatar
    Beth January 26, 2018 (8:50 am)

    Reasons not to read articles like this one: No. 1) They reductively look at and mention only poor or not-so-effective uses of flashback. Where are the good use examples? No. 2) They create false equivalencies and use triangular non-relationship logic. So… if bad writing uses flashback in a bad, ineffective way, then the writing tool itself must be bad. And thus its use is bad—it’s “amateur.” False. Because the reverse is not true. Good use of flashback in a highly, effective way is good writing and may be present in a great screenplay. (Molly’s Game, I, Tonya, Manchester by the Sea, Arrival, Citizen Kane, Raging Bull, etc, etc, etc) This false logic places blame upon flashback and not on the real culprit—bad writing. Good writing versus bad writing. No. 3) They present a one-sided argument that only supports their narrative and present it as fact. No. 4) They then ask a skewed, leading question at the end, which implies, again, that the tool itself is bad: Why do you think avoiding flashbacks is a good idea?

    • comment-avatar
      Jenna Milly January 27, 2018 (6:33 am)

      Thank you Beth! I had fun reading this – well written!

  • comment-avatar
    Peter January 26, 2018 (9:31 am)

    I don’t dispute the prevailing advice to find another way, if possible. Quite a few films have already been noted here that use the flashback dramatically. I would suggest looking at the film “Philomena,” written by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, directed by Stephen Frears, for a great illustration of how the flashback works and why it works. In this case, the protagonist, portrayed by Dame Judy Dench, is haunted by events of her teen years, and the flashback is the perfect device to show the emotional pain Philomena is living with — it’s as if she’s living in both the present and the past.

    I’ve found Syd Field’s commentary on the flashback useful. “The purpose of the flashback is simple: it is a technique that bridges time, place and action to reveal information about the character, or move the story forward… Flashbacks are really a function of character, not story. “

    • comment-avatar
      Jenna Milly January 27, 2018 (6:33 am)

      Philomena – great film! Thanks for your comment, Peter.

  • comment-avatar
    Paul January 26, 2018 (4:24 pm)

    I agree that flashbacks and flash forwards for that matter are often over used. Jumping around in time can be well done but also trendy and gimmicky. The classical Aristotelian unities of time, place, and action might seem old fashioned for both play and screenwriting but have lasted for centuries. When I see a film that seems to indiscriminately use flash backs and flash forwards I get annoyed, taken out of the piece and wonder if the writer just wants to show off how clever he/she is. I believe there must be some validation by way of plot, character, theme, atmosphere etc. to justify the use. A lot of writers might want to be Charlie Kaufman or Laurence Sterne but face it you are not. Sometimes it is just better to play it straight. I as everyone here can list great movies to support their claim but there are more worse and mediocre one as well.

    • comment-avatar
      Jenna Milly January 27, 2018 (6:32 am)

      Thanks for your comment, Paul! Great points

  • comment-avatar
    Tracy January 27, 2018 (2:43 pm)

    I agree with some points in this article, but moreso comments of other readers. I did approach the article negatively after reading the caption under the first photo: “How much BETTER is it that Jake TELLS Evelyn about what it was like to work in Chinatown rather than cutting away from this moment to SEE it?” Um… one of the first things you learn is that screenwriting is about SHOWING/SEEING NOT TELLING!!

  • comment-avatar
    Joyce January 28, 2018 (11:41 am)

    “Possession” from Byatt’s book is filled with clever flashbacks. The real question in the use of flashbacks then, is what is their purpose? A writer knows if he is using one for the wrong reasons. If he doesn’t, maybe he should be writing novels or short stories instead.

  • comment-avatar
    Paul January 29, 2018 (2:47 pm)

    Some last comments

    1) There is nothing wrong with flashbacks
    2) There is even less wrong with weighing the pros and cons of using any technique. Let’s not be too defensive here.
    3) There are flashbacks where the viewer is aware that they are in a flashback
    4) There are also flashbacks where suddenly I am somewhere else and not in the story I was following and wonder why and have to retrace my bearings in the story. I don’t care for those much.
    5) Some genres don’t use flashback much
    6) However flashback seems intrinsic in the genre of Film Noir.
    7) There is also the type of movie where the whole story is framed as a flashback, Sunset Boulevard and Invasion of the Body Snatchers as examples. This would call for an article of its own.

  • comment-avatar
    Izzy Hanson February 2, 2018 (3:38 am)

    I’m interested in the relationship &/or difference between film & novel and might want to turn a dystopian novel I’ve written into a screenplay. I’ve a short scene, less than half a page, where my archaeologist protagonist finds something, which many years later proves to be significant, and hides it from the authorities.
    He’s thinking/remembering about it near the beginning of chapter 1 (probably not recommended for the prose author either?) and this short flashback seems to work. (Also recommended to ‘start where the story/crisis/action begins, which is what I’ve done.) But I certainly wouldn’t do this with a screenplay–the scene could even be a good introduction.
    Now I’m wondering why. What’s the difference?
    Any thoughts?

    • comment-avatar
      Jenna Milly February 2, 2018 (4:52 am)

      I think this sounds great Izzy! Go will your gut feeling. This doesn’t really sound like a flashback but more of a hook scene. Then you can cut to the present and add a title card that reads “several years later…” or something like that.

  • comment-avatar
    Marshall Thornton February 17, 2018 (5:57 am)

    Wow. Reading through, I think a lot of people missed the point. Very often new screenwriters will over-rely on a technique either because it’s an easy way to solve a story problem or because they’re emulating films they like. Your job as a screenwriter is to do neither of those things. If you can read this list and you still feel in your gut that a flashback is right for your story (or even better you can articulate a reason) then flashbacks are probably the right choice.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that the people who read scripts in Hollywood don’t spend their time reading brilliant, amazing scripts. Most of what they read is crap. Very often there are trends in the crap and they’ll tell your agent something like “Do not send me anything with flashbacks!” And then it doesn’t matter how right your flashbacks are, you’re sunk. You’re going to have to write your story without the flashbacks and you need to know how to do that.

    When I was in film school this happened with voiceover. No one wanted to read anything with voiceover. Voiceover is a technique like flashbacks which can be either a brilliant choice or a sign of lazy storytelling. As a screenwriter, you need to be reflective enough and honest enough to understand your own choices.

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