Kind of a grammar/structure question. :

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Hey Guys, Love the website new to the forum.

Iím working on a story about an After the End Nakama in a Scavenger World (itís Better Than It Sounds, YMMV) It has this Framing Device where itís 10 year after TEOTWAWKI and civilization is starting to rebuild thanks to Finding The Cure for The Virus. In the Framing Device a 30 year old honored elder is telling an extended How We Got Here story to a teenaged adopted orphan who was not around and/or to young to understand during most of the events of the main story. The book itself is ostensibly written by the kid. I really like the framing device but itís messing w/ the dialog. Writing dialog between the elder and the kid is easy (gramaticly), but how should I handle the dialog in the flashbacks? Itís coming out kinda like ďthan I saidÖ then she saidÖthen Bob said Ē or ďwhat the heck?!? Bob exclaimed, Blah, blah, blah. I repliedĒ. Is that ok? Is there a better way to handle it? Should I just recite the MST3K Mantra like 70 times? I donít think I can tell the flash back story w/o diolog. Please help out a clueless N00b.

edited 26th Oct '10 11:36:24 AM by HistoryMaker

An accurate depiction
I actually have a few similar techniques- My suggestion is to have it somehow offset, italicized, something like that. Write it like you would a section of your work, but make sure the reader knows that it's a flashback.
This is this.
Also known as Katz
You can play it two ways.

The more realistic, but less fluent, way to do this is the "then I said/then she said" method, because this is how people actually talk. The account should be to-the-point and light on details, especially descriptive details. This is better if the narrated portions are short.

The less realistic, but more fluent, way is to narrate it like the rest of the story, with full-length descriptions and such. This breaks reality a little, both because when you're speaking you don't get to polish your prose and because these stories are usually very to the point (you want to know how to stop the evil plan, not what the villain's outfit looks like), but it's easier and more compelling to read. You'll want to do this if the narrated portions are long.

P.S. Take the spaces out of the trope names to make Wiki Words. And glad you're here!
Thanks for the tips!

Iím going to try writhing the more fluent way offset to indicate itís a flashback. Seeing as itís about 70% flashback the realistic way was getting annoying.

@Katz Glad to be here smile

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