Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

A question about story/reading preference....

Suppose you pick up a novel, & the main character will undergo a traumatic, life-changing event. Would you prefer the novel begin with her waking up after the trauma, her mind running through what happened & her life to that point, & then picking up again? Or a more basic childhood, life, traumatic event storyline?

Answer Question

Asked by KA91 at 11:37 PM on Apr. 16, 2013 in Just for Fun

Level 25 (22,129 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • Waking up after the trauma and then the main points of her life that a reader should know.

    Answer by kmath at 11:41 PM on Apr. 16, 2013

  • I think I would prefer the waking up, then sort of a flashback, so you can see how the event changed the character.

    Answer by Ballad at 11:44 PM on Apr. 16, 2013

  • love flashbacks

    Answer by feralxat at 11:45 PM on Apr. 16, 2013

  • The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian deals with a traumatic experience, flashbacks, recovery, and an interesting plot twist.

    Answer by Izsarejman at 11:54 PM on Apr. 16, 2013

  • I love flashbacks too! I think it's a much more interesting way to tell the story. I'm working on a little something, & I just wanted to see if y'all felt the same.

    Comment by KA91 (original poster) at 11:55 PM on Apr. 16, 2013

  • I prefer some leading and then the crisis of whatever nature and how she will deal withit.

    Answer by Dardenella at 12:01 AM on Apr. 17, 2013

  • I'd go with the flashback

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 12:01 AM on Apr. 17, 2013

  • Flashback(s) for sure lol

    Answer by Hollyhock. at 12:06 AM on Apr. 17, 2013

  • I think it depends. Sometimes you need that lead in. If the character is going to come across as unlikeable, for example, you might need lead in before the trauma so that the reader actually likes her and feels bad for her rather than thinking, "Good, she got what she deserves." Or, another example, one that I'm writing right now, the character disappears and no one knows why. But I need the lead in to show all the possibilities of who might have made her disappear, how, and why.

    Other books, though, I enjoy the flashback version, especially if we don't necessarily need to know much about her life before the trauma - say she had a car accident and lost her memory - I don't need to read about her drinking coffee and grocery shopping before that. Drive her car into a tree and show me what I need to know in a flashback.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 7:57 AM on Apr. 17, 2013

  • I like all types of beginnings... guess it just depends on the story & how good the writer is w/ getting you to understand what's going on. I've read books that had me completly confused because they were unclear about what happened, or you couldn't really tell the flashbacks from what was going on at that moment in the story, or they had too many flashbacks involving too many times & people.... ugh.

    Answer by HappyEndings at 10:12 AM on Apr. 17, 2013

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.