The flashback sequence

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Marlaina Gray

My writer friend who graciously offered to beta-read my novel — we met up at a restaurant, ordered dinner and spread each other’s respective manuscripts all over the table, thoroughly puzzling our waiter — had several excellent suggestions for improving things, one of them being some flashback scenes. It would help humanize one of the characters. It would give the other characters more depth. It would help pinpoint where a particular relationship started to go wrong.

Now, I hadn’t thought in detail about what happened to these characters before the start of the novel. Because I’m a pantser. (I love this term for some reason. It makes me giggle.) I quite literally make it up as I go along. I find my way through the story as I write it, as though a road map were some sort of unnecessary oddity. Which is ironic, because a road map, and a…

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