flashback or narrarated past?

by Uchiha Sasuke

Question: My MC has a really dark/sad past. I hint at it vaguely a few times throughout the book. A while in, I finally explain his past straightforwardly. Should I explain it in a flashback, or just have him think about what happened in his head?

Thank you!

Answer: I think it depends on how central an issue the MC's past is to the story.

Action-driven stories generally should be focused on the present time situation and problem. Flashbacks can irritate readers who just want to see what's going to happen next in the present.

On the other hand, a story about someone reassessing their life in the present may have a lot of lengthy flashbacks. The process of sifting through memories may be the essence of the story.

You have to decide what kind of story you are telling and whether the flashback feels like an annoying interruption or an exciting revelation.

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