This week Alida, Kathryn, & Robert celebrate our 100th episode and revisit the past. What is the role of flashbacks in the forward movement of a story? How can you use them effectively? What’s the danger of using a flashback? What do you need to consider when choosing how to effectively reveal your character’s past to the reader?

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When should you use a flashback? Does it add to or detract from a readers experience? What are the ways you can reveal backstory, and when should you choose flashback over other options?

Want to know more about the course Kathryn mentions at the beginning? The Building Amazing Characters Master Class will re-open soon! Keep an eye on

What we talked about:

When should you use flashback? (2:28)

Why doesn’t Robert use flashbacks? (5:25)

Can a flashback add emotional stakes? (8:11)

The different ways we can show backstory, and when should you use flashback over the other options? (9:05)

How to use flashback to affect the structure. (13:20)

What is your goal for the backstory reveal? (15:05)

Take care! Flashbacks must keep your reader wanting to read more! (17:20)

Why would you use flashback over another type of reveal? (18:25)




Things we mentioned:

Story Grid Round Table podcast 
Stories of Your Life by Ted Chiang 
Tin Star 
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo 

Want more about these topics? Check out:

SWRT 033 Backstory
SWRT 066 Theme
SWRT 068 Evoking Emotions

Want to Learn more about Story Structure? Check out Alida’s course at And keep an eye out for the Building Amazing Characters Master Class to re-open soon!


Have thoughts, questions, other examples? Join the conversation at the Story Works Writers Facebook group

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