Writing

What Is a Flashback? Definition and Examples of Flashbacks

Written by the MasterClass staff

Last updated: Aug 23, 2021 • 4 min read

When writing a work of fiction, an author can take the reader out of the present story and jump into an earlier time period in a character’s life. This narrative tool is called a flashback. Also used in films and television shows, flashbacks give a story more depth by revealing details that help readers understand character motives. Flashbacks also add tension and help advance the plot.