S23E8 – Reverse, Reverse! Telling a Story Backwards

If you’re looking for a unique way to tell a slow burn suspense, consider the reverse story structure. This is all about going backwards in time.

The reverse structure isn’t just hitting rewind and watching the whole thing from front to back, but by taking pieces of the story and telling them out of order. Most often it’s happening to the main character. Maybe they’re suffering from amnesia and remembering how they got where they are in reverse order, like in Momento. Maybe it’s a detective following the trail of a crime to its source.

No matter what the plot of the story is, using the reverse story structure takes time and planning. It’s a focus on the how of a story, the what. We know how it ends – that’s where we started – but we need to find out why.

Listen to the episode below to get a closer look at this structure and the best practices when you decide to use it.

First aired August 26, 2021.

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About the Author
I'm an editor and cover designer for AspenHouse Publishing. I am also a host for AspenHouse's poscast, Writing Roots.

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