Thursday, 3 August 2017
change of scene and the flashback. Flashbacks are more frequent on screen but SM Stirling makes creative use of them to fill in the backstory in The Tears Of The Sun. Tiphaine begins to recount an earlier experience to another character, then, on the following page, we begin to read a third person account of that earlier experience, knowing that the next narrative section after that will revert to the interrupted conversation. At least, the conversation has been interrupted for the benefit of the reader although the characters are not aware of any interruption. In real life, we momentarily remember an earlier experience whereas, in a flashback, the entirety of that earlier experience is replayed, the narrative point of view shifting back to the previous occasion. The author has a god's eye view of the entire fictional timeline and can dip in and out of it although too many changes of point of view would confuse the reader. It is good to read about later events, then to be told what had happened before, like how did a previously avowed secularist come to be wearing an owl amulet?