Here’s a prompt that focuses on flashback technique. One use of flashback that is perhaps intuitive is during action that has a character revisiting or returning to a place they haven’t been in some time. For example, an adult daughter travels to her hometown for the holidays. Since her visits are infrequent, it’d be natural for her to reflect on the last time she was home, and the time that has passed. Meanwhile, the sight of some old haunts would likely remind her of … oh, could be anything. Exploits, call them. Adventures. Or maybe times that were boring as hell.
Prompt: Create a scenario that has a person back in a spot they’ve been away from a long time. Once the scene is established, enter a flashback. Make sure that the memory is triggered by something particular about the place.
For example, the bloody Christmas tree lot they put up at the Jeep Buick Eagle dealership reminds the hometown daughter how her family would come here the day after Thanksgiving and harass the attendant with endless questions and complaints until he was distracted, then dad would steal a tree and throw it in the trunk!
That’s a fun memory. Of course, yours doesn’t have to go in a comic direction. Here’s some ideas of scenarios to get ideas flowing.
- a teenager goes to the house where he/she went to daycare as a kid
- a person eats dinner at a restaurant where they worked in college
- a person travels to a city where they lived for a time decades ago
Last tip: If no really tantalizing memory arises, move the character around the setting and see what triggers might appear.