OngoingWorlds blog

News & articles about play-by-post games, for roleplayers & writers


Ideas for powerful flashbacks

Flashback in LOST

Conflict and drama make great stories. This drama doesn’t have to be current though, your character could have already been through turmoil and lived to tell the tale. This gives your character a rich and interesting backstory, so why not show these times or turmoil as a flashback? 

Here’s some ideas:

  • Your character suffered a miscarriage.
  • Your character’s parents were murdered.
  • Your character was fired from a job for doing something truely unforgiveable.
  • Your character’s child was killed in an accident.
  • Your character had a childhood romance (maybe of someone with a different gender to what you expect).
  • Your character caused an accident which killed someone.
  • Your character was bullied at school which changed their entire personality.
  • Your character once did something unthinkable for money.
  • Your character was tutored by someone, who tried to teach them an extreme idiology (and maybe succeeded).
  • Your character committed a crime which ruined a great friendship.
  • Your character was forced to torture someone.
  • Your character was once trapped somewhere they didn’t think they’d escape from.
  • Your character once made a promise to someone who died.
  • Your character was once near-death and revealed a secret they shouldn’t have.
  • Show in a flashback how your wheelchair-bound character lost the use of their legs.

And here’s some ideas that can make the flashback relevant to their current lives

  • Your character meets someone who they know kidnapped their child several years ago. Show the anguish they went through in a flashback.
  • Your character meets an old flame, show their messy break-up in a flashback.
  • Your character uses a tool or weapon that nobody would expect that they know how to use, in the flashback show how they learned how to use it.
  • Your character meets someone they’ve forgotten about with a matching tattoo, show in a flashback how they know each other and why they forgot.
  • Your character has a bizarre habit, show when and how this habit started .
  • Your character dresses in a certain way. Show in a flashback which character they once met and copied their dress style from, and what happened to that other character.
  • Your character sees something that reminds them of something horrible they once ate.
  • Your character has to work with someone they once tortured. Show the torture in a flashack.
  • Your character has been telling the story of their lives for a while, but in a flashback you find it’s not true, and something much much worse happened.
  • Your character once had a drug/gambling addiction, and they’re put into a situation where they’re tempted to start it up again, for example with addiction help for families.
  • Have your character tell stories about a villain’s bad deeds, then reveal that it was your character all along.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas for this week’s Flashback week!