Having written and pasted in the Gog and Magog scene, I figured out why I like writing these flashbacks so much.
Up until I was about eighteen or so — nearly nineteen — I wrote stories non-linearly, starting with the scenes that excited me the most. This ended up not being an effective strategy for me, for reasons I’ve documented elsewhere. These days I write mostly from the beginning to the end, so that the material that comes between the big set-pieces and watershed character moments won’t utterly suck.
These flashbacks, though? They’re all the fun of my old method, with none of the downside. I don’t need connective tissue, with them. I don’t need them to grow organically out of the scenes that come before them in the text. They’re snapshots of important stuff happening, presented with all the drama and spectacle I can cram in, and then the minute the excitement’s over I’m gone, back to 1590 and the main narrative. I can sink fleets, murder giants, generally Blow Shit Up, and then bounce off without fretting the details of what happens immediately afterward.
I get to write my shiny flashy candy-bar scenes whenever they come clear in my head.
No wonder I’m having so much fun with them.