When I started my current writing project, Swell, I did so without thinking about the sequence of events. I just went from immediate action in a flash-forward scene to the present, then another flash-forward, another present, and so on. Eventually, the flash-forward scenes meet the present and the story resolution takes place. I feel that these “sub-chapters” provide angst and wonder in the reader as to what will happen to the main character, and the “present chapters” the story behind how she got there.
Being that I trust the good people of absolutewrite.com, I asked them about this concept and have gathered mixed responses. Swell does not include foreshadowing, because I don’t believe in giving away the paintings on the wall. However, it does give two story lines at once, present and future, which end up becoming a single, present story resolution. It is different, probably not unique, but it is what I feel is right for the story. I think I saw something similar in Jennifer Weiner’s new book.
Ultimately, the decision of whether my flash-forward concept is a good idea remains to be seen and contemplated by literary agents and, hopefully, readers. For now, I love the excitement and sense of panic it generates in me to know what happens next, as well as the lively discussion among my fellow writers.