Parallel storylines vs flashbacks: where do you stand?

What is the Best Parallel storylines vs flashbacks: where do you stand??

Review of the Parallel storylines vs flashbacks: where do you stand?:

Parallel storylines vs flashbacks: where do you stand?

– I have a pet peeve: overuse of parallel storylines. While I have no evidence for it, it feels like every author in the last 20-odd years has adopted parallel storylines as a literary device. It’s a rare pleasure—and usually an older book—where a story progresses chronologically. Flashbacks are different, I think, and I don’t mind those.

I just finished Three Junes, by Julia Glass, which uses both devices.

Three Junes has three parts. The first two use parallel storylines, in which the narrator has a past and present story, and they alternate (I would say annoyingly) every few pages. So right when I’m getting into the groove of the narrative, the author changes gears and forces me to read a different narrative. It does not feel like these breaks are purposeful, that each fractured episode gives meaning to the next one. It feels like a gimmick. Like I could have just read the earlier narrative and then the latter one and the story’s overall meaning would be the same.

In the third part of the book, she shifts to flashbacks, of which I approve 🙂 The character’s present story is being told with occasional flashbacks to shed light on the present. Those flashbacks don’t exactly make up their own story, but help explain the character’s current mindset.

Parallel storylines of course work well to show different characters’ experiences in a story, but the flip flopping so often gets out of control. I felt that way with Brent Weeks’ Blinding Knife and its sequels. Too much jumping around.

Do you notice more use of parallel storylines in recent novels? Do you like them? Do you have examples where they’re done meaningfully?

#Parallel #storylines #flashbacks #stand,

Last update on 2024-04-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top