Home > Play-by-post discussion > Flashback Week – write a flashback about your character in your own RPG

Flashback Week – write a flashback about your character in your own RPG

Old photograph of a child

With a Flashback you can write about your character’s early years, and how they became the character they are today.

What’s a Flashback?

A flashback is when you write about something that happened in your character’s life before the current story. It could be from the character’s childhood, and it could explain why their personality is the way it is now. It could explain why they are scared of spiders, why they hate the colour blue, why they don’t trust men with beards, or why they are such a bastard to everyone.

The flashback might relate to what your character is currently doing in the story, and might explain how they know a specific skill, or they might now meet a character from their childhood.

You might have written a flashback for your character before, or you might not have. It’s dead easy to do, just think about it, and start writing. But even though it’s so simple, you don’t always think about doing it. So why don’t we all do it at the same time?!

What is Flashback week?

Flashback week is a week where you’re encouraged to write a Flashback for your character, at the same time as people in other RPGs everywhere.

There’s a thing called Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month), which is a month-long challenge where you are supposed to write a 50,000 word novel. Of course there’s nothing stopping you from doing it any month, but setting a specific month allows people to do the challenge together, and support each other.

There’s also a thing called “talk like a pirate day” where for the entire day it’s okay for you to talk like a pirate. Why? No idea. But it’s fun, and because a entire day has been specified it means you’re not alone when you want to talk like a pirate!

So both “Nanowrimo” and “Talk like a pirate day” are things that we could do any time, but we do just because it’s fun to do it at the same time as everyone else.

Flashback Week is a week where you can write the flashback about your character that you’ve always wanted. Explore your character’s early life, it will be a refreshing change.

Flashback examples

Here are some examples of what you could write about in your character’s flashbacks:

  • When they were bullied at school, and how they got over it
  • Meeting their first girlfriend/boyfriend, and breaking up
  • Explain how and why they decided to do the job they do now
  • What happened to their parents?
  • Explain how they got the scar or prominent feature they have now

How it works – It’s easy!

You don’t have to do anything different to how you normally post. We’re not asking you to post in a different place, or visit another website. Just post as normal, but just consider writing a flashback post this week, or maybe a few. Your character might have a complicated back-story which you want to write!

Spread the word!

Other members in your game might not have heard of Flashback week, so send them a link to this blog article and they might be interested in writing a flashback for their character too!
There’s also a Facebook event page, click here.

Make a competition out of it!

If you’re a GM of a game, you could create a competition in your game where you ask your members to choose which is the best flashback story. If you do, I’d love it if you let me know by posting on the Flashback Week event on Facebook page or comment on this blog article.

When is Flashback Week?

9th of August 2010 – 15th August 2010.

Start writing your Flashback article

What are you waiting for? Start writing a flashback about your character right now!

Flashback week 2010 has now finished

But there might be another one next year. Check our new blog for details.

  1. August 10, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    “Onto The Fleet”

    Location: EARTH, Starfleet Academy
    Scene: Memorial Gardens
    Stardate: 2.30407.1200

    The day had started like so many others over the last
    years spent at Starfleet Academy. The sun had risen
    over the buildings of the Academy, the Cadets had gone
    to their respective classes and the Instructors had
    once again gone to do their very best to open the
    students’ minds to the endless possibilities that
    awaited them out there amongst the stars.

    This was a day like any other with one major
    exception, this time Maya stood in the Memorial
    Gardens not as a Cadet but rather as a recently
    graduated member of the distinguished educational
    institution’s top class, ACT. In her hand a P.A.D.D.
    with her new assignment to the fleet and on her collar
    a single hollowed pip that she displayed with endless

    Her years as a Cadets now laid behind her, for today
    she was no longer one of them, she had proven herself
    worthy and ascended to the rank of Ensign, and by
    doing so had earned a place within the mighty fleet
    that extended nearly over a quarter of the known

    Maya gave the buildings she had grown to look upon as
    the symbol of her new home with mixed emotions. This
    had been all that she had known since her arrival to
    EARTH and against all that she had learned, the
    Shillian was not certain she wanted to leave. From
    the buildings, she moved her eyes onto the azure sky
    and thought of all the worlds, discovered or not, that
    awaited her in the endless ocean that was space.

    Her new life as well as her new home was out there,
    amongst the endless numbers of sparkling specs, so
    with a newfound courage, Maya took a step forward and
    left the life she had been given behind as she headed
    towards the new life that awaited her.

    Location: Transport Vessel USS DOVE
    Scene: Passenger Area

    From her seat, Maya could see through the small
    porthole the outline of STARBASE 515 as they grew
    closer to it. With the knowledge that the AVALON was
    docked there, the Shillian eyes searched for the ship
    in question having been given only the most basic of
    information on it.

    **A Legend-Class vessel,** she reminded herself,
    feeling a little sheepish at the fact that she had not
    taken the time to see what this meant. In her hurry
    to board the transport vessel, Maya had taken all of
    her worldly possessions not taking a single moment to
    look back out of fear of losing the will to leave that
    she had found not so long ago.

    Now, countless light years away from EARTH, it was too
    late to turn back, and the Shillian cursed that she
    had not taken some time to maybe make her search for
    this ‘AVALON’ a little easier.

    As the details of STARBASE 515 became clearer the
    closer they came to it, so did the features of various
    ship’s docked at the station. Hope swelled and
    crashed in a roller coaster ride as Maya looked onto
    the ships of varying size and shape, fearfully curious
    to find out which of them would exhibit the markings
    she sought.

    A small craft that seemed unable to hold more than a
    dozen officers was the first she clearly saw, relief
    washing over her entire body as she happily read the
    vessel’s name as not being the USS AVALON. As much as
    she would have accepted to having been assigned to
    such a small ship for her first tour of duty, the
    Shillian had allowed her dreams and hopes to set
    somewhat higher expectations for herself and the first
    ship she would call her new home.

    The second docking port held in place an alien vessel
    that she, for a fraction of a second, considered as a
    possibility for the AVALON before common sense
    dictated otherwise. A few seconds passed as the USS
    DOVE continued its approach, pushing the second vessel
    out of sight behind them, revealing a third.

    Her breath hung in the air as her gaze fell onto the
    form of a vessel larger than she had ever imagined
    seeing with her own two eyes. All of the other ships
    she had seen thus far had been dwarfed by the size of
    the starbase, but this one had not. Her amazement and
    wonder grew to unimaginable lengths as she came to
    read the large black letters painted on the forward
    section of the ship’s hull, USS AVALON.

    *This* would be her new home.

    Jessica Solarik (maya_992003@yahoo.com)
    Lieutenant Commander Maya
    Chief Science Officer

    “To see the world in a grain of sand,
    and a heaven in a wild flower.
    Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
    and eternity in an hour.”
    – William Blake (British, 1757-1827)

  2. August 10, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    “Inner Exploration”

    “This is the journey you’ve always been destined to take.”
    -Kai Opaka

    Setting: NEW ALEXANDRIA, Section H, Level 8, Training Holodeck 1
    Stardate: 63070.2100

    For the last 10 hours or so the Oltharian giant had made his way through some of the most difficult rocky terrain he could have ever imagined. His strength and size had proven to be an immeasurable asset as he climbed his way over towering walls of stones or found ways to bridge what had seemed to be countless bottomless ravines.

    Used to the 35 hours days of his home world of OLTHAR PRIME, Elan had been somewhat disappointed when the light of the sun had vanished below the horizon to plunge everything in an eerie darkness, thus halting his progress. After having gathered whatever twigs and dried leaves which laid about to create a campfire the Oltharian Engineer selected a spot where he would be able to lean back to rest. Having confirmed that the campfire had been strong, the Engineering officer delicately drew a small silver cylinder from his shirt pocket

    Admiral Koneki had allowed each member of the ANUBIS’ crew to bring a single item. Most had selected a tool that would help them in their quest to reach the mission’s objective, but Elan had elected to bring something to help him in his never ending personal journey of self discovery; his flute

    The Oltharian held the small musical instrument with the utmost of care and reverence as his white eyes drew on what little flickering light the fire offered to scrutinize the cylinder and lose himself in his thoughts.

    (Insert funky FLASHBACK music)

    Setting: OLTHAR PRIME, Gardens outside of the Council of Elders

    “Uncle,” a young boy sniffled as he tried his best to hold back his tears. “I’m sorry.”

    “It is alright Elan,” a middle aged man dressed in religious robes said as he lowered himself onto a single knee. “Not everyone is meant to become a member of the Religious Circle, and even less to join the ranks of the Klaj~Ra’Shall. Yours is a different path.”

    “But I want to be with you Uncle Bardef,” the young boy forcefully admitted. “I want to belong to the Religious Circle.”

    The robed man smiled down at the teary young boy as he placed a caring hand on the child’s shoulder. “There is a universe of difference between what we want and what we have to do Elan, one day you may come to understand this.”

    Setting: NEW ALEXANDRIA, Section H, Level 8, Training Holodeck 1
    Stardate: 63070.2145

    On only rare occasions had the Oltharian played his flute outside of the seclusion of his quarters after his graduation from Starfleet Academy. The small metallic musical instrument which seemed to vanished into nothingness while inside the massive hands of the giant had always help a particular significance to Elan, the enchanting and almost mystical music that it created reflecting the composer’s most intimate feelings. This type of music had always been meant, as per the teachings of the Religious Circle, to only be shared with those whom the player had special and even intimate feelings for

    As a Cadet though the Oltharian had challenged this belief passed down from generation to generation and had used the music to help him stay in touch with the heritage that he had left back on OLTHAR PRIME. Having been the first of his kind to venture beyond the confines of the planetary system they knew as home, going against all they he had been taught about their place in the universe, Elan had not been a stranger to challenging his people’s ways. Even though the music had been shared, very few Cadets had been able to claim to having heard the giant play the small silvery instrument, but those who could had always said the same thing about the sounds that filled the air they had shared with Elan at that time – purely emotional.

    After his graduation from the Academy and his first mission onboard another Intel ship, the significance of the music had returned to its intended meaning when Elan had allowed Lt. Cmdr. Amber Satori to be in his quarters while he played. She had interrupted one of the Olthairan’s private sessions and after much convincing, Elan had found it impossible to resist the woman’s charms and accepted to continue playing with her there.

    On that one fateful night a great many things had changed for the Olthairan, not the least of which had been his own personal understanding of the universe that extended all around them. The woman who then held the position of Chief for the Observation and Surveillance Centre on that ship had made her way into the giant’s mind long before then, but it had taken time for her to find her way into the giant’s heart. Time seemed to come to a complete stop while he played for her, watching Amber’s eyes follow each and every movement he made with an intensity that he could not understand or cared to. She enjoyed the music and he in turned had enjoyed her enjoyment making the moment one that he would remember for all eternity.

    Fragile and innocent as she knew Elan to be despite his colossal size and appearance, the woman whose age defied all concept of time, had not wanted to rush things making that night even more special as she watched and listened. Amber had learned long ago that life needed to be enjoyed at a slower pace, taking in each and every second and enjoying them to their fullest as they would never come again. During her years she had once enchanted another Oltharian man who in time had grown in wisdom to become leader of his world’s governing body, the Council of Elders. That he had been Elan’s uncle had only been a universal coincidence that both Bardef and Amber had chosen to keep from the young Oltharian who had left his home world to venture beyond the stars.

    Events beyond the control of Elan had taken this woman from him, placing her in a coma from which no medical technique known to the Federation could bring her out of. On that day, the significance and melodies of the music had once again changed to reflect the giant’s new found emotion – despair. It had taken the Oltharian a lot of time and soul searching while back on his home world following the renouncing of his rank and position to rediscover his place in the universe. As painful as it had been to venture into the depths of the universe, that is where Elan knew he needed to be. Maybe, just maybe, somewhere out there on one of the worlds orbiting one of those sparkling specks of light he would be able to find a cure for his beloved Amber.

    Here, alone beneath an imaginary starlit sky, surrounded by the dancing shadows, the Oltharian had once again poured his soul into his music as he allowed his thoughts and memories to venture into another place, another time. Silently the Oltharian Engineer hoped that these training exercises would enable the crew of the ANUBIS to gain the skills and experience needed to succeed in whatever mission they would set out on and maybe, just maybe, return with something that would change the giant’s life forever.

    Francois Charette {f_charette@hotmail.com}
    Lieutenant Junior Grade Elan Talak Fairborn Chief Engineering Officer


    Robotics Engineering Officer

  3. August 11, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Wow it looks like we’ve inspired some people! Thanks for dropping by and letting us see what you’ve posted!

  1. August 11, 2010 at 7:44 pm
  2. August 17, 2010 at 10:45 pm
  3. August 27, 2010 at 11:54 am
  4. September 7, 2010 at 6:37 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s