As an editor, I very often receive questions from authors/writers about always and never. Always and never really don’t have much of a role in creative writing. I mean, there are a few: Never write run-on sentences. Always distinguish which character is speaking.
But when it comes to formatting memories and flashbacks, it isn’t necessary to write an entire flashback in italics. Moreover, it is frowned upon. Think about what that looks like, reading an entire 20pgs of flashback…in italics.
Art should never be limited to strict parameters. (Look! Another one!)
Here’s more from Kristen Stieffel:
The difference between memory and flashback
“The last point of confusion has to do with defining a flashback. What you have is not a flashback. It’s a character memory. The character is thinking about what happened in the past—that information is his interior monologue.
A flashback is a fully formed scene set in an earlier time. So it should be typeset like any other scene. In fact, in the flashback, you would not set the dialogue in italics. You’d put it in quotation marks, just as in any other scene.”
To read more, click here.