Do you struggle with weaving flashback seamlessly into your stories?

The dreaded flashback--friend or foe to authors (and readers)?
Used skillfully, flashbacks offer a rich and vivid way to weave in essential backstory and add depth and texture to a story. But clumsily executed ones can be an eyeball-stopping intrusion into momentum that yanks readers right out of it.

Learn exactly what flashbacks are—and aren’t—in this in-depth course with career editor Tiffany Yates Martin, and how to incorporate them smoothly and effectively to more richly develop your characters and their arcs; heighten stakes; and deepen readers’ experience of your story.

Using examples from published novels and other media, we’ll look at what makes a flashback essential, and how good ones can add meaning and impact to the main story. You’ll learn the difference between flashback and other types of backstory, and how to assess whether and when flashbacks serve your story best—as well as how to draw readers smoothly and organically into and out of them without the “cheese factor” equivalent of an old-movie dissolve.

What You'll Learn:

  • How flashbacks differ from other backstory, and how to balance it with other types
  • The purpose of a flashback: what they do and don’t do
  • How to decide whether, where, and when to use flashback
  • How much to reveal as flashback and how much belongs in the main story
  • How to transition smoothly in and out of flashbacks without “hanging a lantern” on them or pulling readers out of the narrative flow
  • How POV affects flashback (and vice versa)
  • Starting a story with flashback—is it a “cheat”?
  • How long should/can a flashback be?
  • Avoiding the flashback “rabbit hole”
  • Formatting flashbacks

Supplemental materials:

  • "Building a Flashback" guide
  • Flashback transition mix-and-match handout
  • My detailed "Flashback Checklist" to ensure you're using flashbacks as effectively and seamlessly as possible--and in the right place in your story

Who this course is for:

Authors of all skill levels, in any genre, who:

  • want to expand their ability to use this potentially powerful device to strengthen their characters, plot, and stakes
  • struggle with knowing how to weave flashbacks into the narrative without interrupting the narrative flow or the reader’s experience
  • want to use flashbacks more skillfully and unlock the texture and depth they can offer a story
  • are unsure how to transition into and out of flashback without stalling momentum or interrupting the reader's experience
  • tend to avoid flashbacks as “cheesy shortcuts”

Hi, I'm Tiffany Yates Martin, founder of FoxPrint Editorial

In my publishing career working as a book editor on hundreds of manuscripts—for major publishers and New York TimesWall Street Journal, Washington Post, and USA Today bestselling and award-winning authors as well as newer writers—I have more than 25 years of experience in pinpointing what can keep an author's story from being as effective as it can be, and how to help authors make it marketable and competitive.

As an editor as well as a teacher leading workshops and seminars in writing and editing, I've developed clear, useful, hands-on tools for helping authors learn to spot these areas, along with practical techniques for addressing them, and I'm the author of a book based on those techniques, Intuitive Editing: A Creative & Practical Guide to Revising Your Writing.

"Totally shifted how I view my story--in a good way"

"Today’s craft lesson has totally shifted how I view my story—in a good way. I thought it was about lacking escape, but it is more about feeling trapped. This subtle difference is so much more indicative of my inner conflict. Thank you!

.“ —Barbie B.

"Fantastic session"

"Fantastic session--thanks, Tiffany! So many great takeaways to implement immediately in my current novel writing."--Michale R.

"Learned more about flashbacks than I ever knew"

"I taught English for 20 years and learned more about flashbacks than I ever knew--thanks."--Jo Ann B.

Course Pricing


When does the course start and finish?

The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course--you decide when you start and when you finish.

How long do I have access to the course?

How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like--across any and all devices you own.

What if I am unhappy with the course?

We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.