Chronology and linearity kill the story. Adding flashbacks and flash-forwards to your storyteller’s toolkit may be one of the ways of story killing prevention.
A flashback is a story element that takes you back in time from the current point in the story you’re telling. It’s a glimpse into the past. It might be an event, a scene or a piece of information that makes the audience/learners see the events told so far and the ones to be told in a moment from a completely new perspective.
A flashforward lets you jump in time to the future and give your story pot a bit of a stir – shed some different light on the current story events, ignite the imaginations of the audience/learners, puzzle them, deceive them, move their trail of thought into a surprising direction of your (and – sometimes – story’s) choice.
Edit the story before you tell it. Be on the lookout for flashback and flash-forward opportunities. Think which events or pieces of information can be withheld for the moment and turned into flashback and flash-forward bits to add some spice to the story.
Photo: Mark Asthoff, unsplash.com