Author– As their swords collide and the battle reaches its climax . .. FLASHBACK!
Hero– Wait! What are you doing?
Author– Perfect time for a flashback.
Hero– No! It’s a terrible time.
Villain– Let’s hear him out.
Hero– Shut up. You’re about to lose, so you want a break. Look, buddy, I have my sword inches from this guy’s face. His knees are buckling. I see no reason to jump into the past at this point. What could you possibly show the audience that would change this?
Author– Rapid fire scenes of you two as kids growing up together.
Hero– But we didn’t grow up together.
Villain– Or did we?
Hero– No, we didn’t. You’re an evil warlord who was born two hundred years ago and I’m a chosen farm boy who can’t even legally drink in the real world.
Author– It’s more about how your lives would have been different if you had grown up together. You probably wouldn’t be in this situation at all.
Villain– Then, it’s not a flashback. Those are real events that connect to the present. Can I sit down while we-
Hero– Don’t you dare rest your aching muscles. I worked hard to weaken you and you’re going to stay that way. Try again, author.
Author– Hmmm . . . It will show how your father was killed by the villain in the same manner.
Hero– My father is dead!?
Villain– Apparently . . . Do I have a reason for doing that? I assume the old man is just a farmer.
Author– He was at the time, but he was a great warrior who could be a threat before he retired. In fact, he ran away with your daughter. They married and had a kid. She died in childbirth.
Hero– My mother is dead now!?
Villain– This brat is my grandchild? I’m a rare breed of elf and this kid is human. He has no elven features even though he would have to be a half-elf. Also, didn’t you establish that I had a habit of sacrificing my children to demons for dark favors and to make sure they never try to overthrow me?
Author You missed one.
Villain– I guess that makes sense. Is all of this going to be in the flashback?
Hero– Am I an orphan? I mean, my parents saw me off on this adventure. That was a month ago and this guy hasn’t left his castle since. That explains the smell.
Villain– For the last time, that’s the moat. It hasn’t been cleaned since the monster ate the last workman. Nobody wants the job now.
Author– Well, I want to do a flashback and I’m in charge. So, we’re flashing back to something.
Hero– Couldn’t it show this guy’s life of evil and selfishness running up to this point? It isn’t a true flashback, but it could be like his life flashing before his eyes.
Author– That only works if he’s going to die and that doesn’t happen.
Hero– Just end the story.
Author– No. I’m going to work on another one. You two can stay like that until you remember who’s in charge. Find some characters who respect my creativity.
Hero– But my shoulders are cramping.
Author– Don’t care! La La La La La!
Villain– Told you we shouldn’t have let him know we were sentient.
Hero– Shut up.