Journal Entry 537

“I saw you today. I saw you with the blonde one. The nostalgia of the days; seeing you beaten, crumpled away from your heroic stance, the feeling of empowerment; I never felt more alive. Yet, that was just it; my finger on the trigger. My mind racing through the orders to take a shot and end it. I hesitated. I stopped myself. I left. I turned my back away from the moment I’ve been waiting years to come.
It’s funny isn’t it? I’m not a little girl anymore or rather…the emotionless little brat just going through the motions. It’s peculiar the feeling I get when I think about you. You took something away from me, something I earned. Something that I actually cared…that’s just it; You GAVE me my emotion. Never until you came into my life have I felt that before. The motivation of caring for someone. All I knew was the feeling of taking someone away and yet…the time I spent with the ones who gave me that feeling gave me a small hint of empathy. Then suddenly…they disappeared. Because of you they are gone and because of you…I found reason, I found more purpose than I ever have before. My unit is small, and every soldi- no…every brother and sister that I have in this unit I care for; all because you gave me that ability. You took something I cared about away and now I see its importance. I hesitated because I debated on the impact it would do; not on myself but…who you care about and who cares about you. It’s weird isn’t it? I’m gaining this sense of humanity because you destroyed something of mine.
Is this why you didn’t kill me when you had the chance? It boggles my mind to think that…you cared.

I will keep watching you. I will…keep learning.”


Y’all have been warned. 

Continuation of this post if you want to find more official info of the characters of Mystic Messenger from the newly-restocked RFA VIP Package. There are a lot of images under the cut, so you might not want to load the full post if you’re using data or a slow connection!

The following section contains information on each character’s backstory, as well as more in depth info on Unknown, Rika, V, and the side characters. There are links underneath each character that takes you to additional pictures/info, so be sure to check them out!

Keep reading

Leading into a Flashback

Novels don’t use too many flashbacks; they’re more common in short stories. Flashbacks can be great when they’re done correctly (meaning relevant and necessary), but even then you need to be careful about leading in and out of the flashback. It’s a jump in time, and it could be confusing or disorienting. You don’t want your reader to start the flashback and still be thinking they’re watching a scene happening at that moment—a logistic like that should always be clear. So here’s a 101 on how to ease in a reader by writing your flashback in the right tense.

I’ll be using these terms:

Top story – what’s happening at that moment in the story. Let’s say Alice is 17 and going to the zoo with her friends.

Bottom story (or backstory) – what happened in the past. In this case, our flashback talks about when Alice was 6 at the zoo with her parents for her birthday, but her parents started fighting and yelling at each other.

In general, you want to lead into the flashback as smoothly as possible. If you think you’re just supposed to italicize the whole section and call it good, think again. Lazy. Lazy, lazy. If your story is written in present tense, you’ve got the easier answer. The top story will be written in normal present tense, and the backstory will be written in normal past tense. Still, everyone should consider the following:

  • Some authors choose to start the section off with an italicized “6 years ago” or something, which is fine but personally I think it’s lazy, unless that date in particular is important.
  • In the top story, something should prompt your character to think about this flashback. Something emotional is less cheesy, but this is still an area to be careful and subtle. A bad lead in is like “seeing the elephant reminded her of the last time she saw an elephant…” *cue flashback* Cheese. So much cheese. And it feels fake and contrived.  I tend to lean towards a more emotional link. The current scene makes the MC consider something, and they look to the past for their answer…? Intermission for an example, after Alice has been kissed by her love interest for the first time:

Kisses had different meanings across the globe, but one thing tended to be consistent: they were a sign of affection. Affection, or manipulation.

(page break)

And here starts the flashback for why she’s come to this conclusion.

  • Drop hints early on in the flashback as to where you’ve jumped on the timeline. Like, “school had just let out for the summer” or “It was my first time driving with a permit” or something that gives a sense of when we are.
  • Start off your backstory with PAST PERFECT! As in, the past before the past tense. This only applies if you’re writing in the past tense to begin with. It’s that addition of “had.” I had been driving when he called me. The TV had been on while she cooked dinner. The whole thing’s in past, but part of it had happened before the past action of calling or cooking dinner. If your flashback is short (like, one paragraph) write the whole thing in past perfect. If your flashback is longer lead in with three past perfect sentences. Then switch to simple past. Lead back out of the flashback with the last three sentences in past perfect again.

Confusing? Okay. No problem. An example.

–flashback start–

“I think it’s broken!”

Mom’s tone had made me start bawling. My arm had hurt, but it hadn’t felt broken. I was only eight years old—I was too young to be broken. I didn’t want to be broken. Mom held my wrist lightly, afraid to be too rough.

(three uses of the past perfect “had” before switching to the normal past of “held,” as opposed to a past perfect of “had held.”)

–rest of flashback is too long to include here, but it would all be written in typical past tense–

Mom sighed, then turned to hold Dad’s gaze. “We still should go to the hospital, shouldn’t we?”

It had taken him a moment to reply. Then he, too, had sighed like releasing a pent up breath. “I’ll drive. Come on, kiddo,” he had said, and he lifted me into his arms.

(the whole middle section is in past tense liked “sighed” and “turned,” but the last three have switched back to the past perfect forms with “had” before the verb.)

–flashback end–

This way your reader will get the sense right off the bat that this happened before. This isn’t happening as part of the current storyline. Leading out with it similarly reminds readers that the passage they just read happened before, and now it’s time to go back to now. Don’t confuse your readers with logistics!


Added comment:


If you want to write a flashback or altered state *due to mental illness*, you need to try to show that it’s *not* a normal memory. Italicize all of it or use a different font; change tenses but slip into present tense; look at how folks with PTSD talk about flashbacks. Not all flashbacks are the classic memory-hits-like-a-train-with-images, either; some people develop C-PTSD (usually involving prolonged traumatic events), and C-PTSD is pretty much PTSD with flashbacks that just make no sense.

“If I pass, can I stay here?”

Clint’s brother and mentor leave him for dead when he tries to put a stop to their criminal activities. Clint ends up working for government spooks who assure him that what he’s doing is for the greater good, but he starts to have some serious doubts. When he attempts to sever all ties, they hunt him down. Luckily, SHIELD steps in to help. And they have a job offer.

Also on YouTube (x)

Plot A Month W1D4: Backstory

Horrible fact of writing: you are going to know a lot more about your character than will ever be put on the page. This also drags writers down, because often they’re so exciting about their characters, that they want to share everything. Instead of conveying that excitement, it drags the story down, and loses the reader.

So, backstory. Backstory is essential. It is also a pain, figuring out what goes where. Your character worksheets are going to have some backstory, maybe a lot, so for this part, we’re going to focus on the essentials.

  • Pick out the major events. That test your character failed in third grade is not going to impact them the same way their parents’ divorce did (unless the character connects the two). Pick out the really important things, whether or not your characters are aware of them. What caused a great internal change? What external issue brings them to the plot now? These things are going to be what your reader will need to know.
  • Backstory Timeline: Your character didn’t spring to life the second their story starts on the page. Take that starting point and move backward: how did they get there? When did they move to _____ town, what did they get their degree in? This is going to be more mundane details than your major points, but they’re important too. You might stumble upon a great location, or a new plot idea you didn’t think of before. This can also be an ongoing list; you don’t have to go it in one go.

Both your main characters, supporting characters, and antagonists (we’ll get to them later) need backstory. Like I mentioned earlier, you don’t need it all right now, and some of it will probably change while plotting, but now’s a good time to get started.

Also See:


One of my favorite hidden details about the Country Bear Jamboree, is that all of the bears actually have official backstories given by the Imagineers. Most likely written by show writers Al Bertino and Marc Davis, these mini bios were published around the time of the opening of the attraction at Walt Disney World.

TORIEL: Ah! My apologies, but Frisk is currently having a sleepover with some of their friends from school, so I will be answering this question for them. 

[ * TORIEL smiles. ]

TORIEL: It was a rather small building… No friends to play with, no family of your own… I can not imagine how hard it must have been for them!

TORIEL: After a long while, they got tired of being alone.

TORIEL: … And landed right on their face, haha!

[ * TORIEL chuckles, then slowly trails off. Her expression saddens. ]

TORIEL: Hum….. You know, sometimes when I hear them tell that story to their friends….

[ * TORIEL quickly smiles. ]

TORIEL: Ah, well, I do have a tendency to worry over nothing, so I may be imagining it!

TORIEL: Now I must get back to making dinner! I hope I helped clear your confusion a bit!