hp: luna wisdom

A random writing question

Suppose you are writing a story that alternates between past and present. The present is the largest part of the narrative, but there are three or four interludes of the main character's past memories, ranging from about 1/2 a page to 1 page long. What's the best way to set those off from the main body of the story? Italics? Just section breaks? Something else?

Also, here is a meme I have seen about: Your job is now your Time Lord name. The last digit of your phone number is the current regeneration you are in. The nearest clothing item to your right is now the most notable item in your current wardrobe. The last person you texted is your current companion. Your favorite word is now your catchphrase.

I am the Teacher, and I am in my sixth regeneration. The most distinctive item
in my wardrobe is the battered, much loved green sneakers I bought when I lived in Tokyo. My companion is my friend Lindsey, who is useful because she speaks lots of languages. "SMITE!" is my catch phrase, which perhaps bodes ill for the people I encounter.
If it's flashbacks, I might use italics, but that sometimes looks heavy-handed. Usually I think section breaks are sufficient, especially if you put dates/times at the top of the section.

I may have to do the meme because, honest to goodness, the nearest clothing item to me is a multicolored tutu.

I am the Editor, and I am in my seventh generation. My most notable item would be my sandals which is actually true. I wear them almost every day. My companion would be Carolyn which means that our adventures have to be wheelchair accessible and and my catchphrase is either Awesome or Blast.
We did such a flashback just by changing tenses, so that's kind of up to you.

I am the Program Specialist. I am in my sixth incarnation. The most notable piece of clothing in my wardrobe (and yes, I am giggling about this) is an incredibly short one-skein autumn colored scarf I finished a couple of days ago and haven't sewn the ends in on yet. My companion is my cousin Stephen, which is handy as he's good at fixing things. My catchphrase is apparently "limn", which is quite odd.
As a reader, I think section breaks with time stamps for clarity are the way to go. I find long passages in italics hard to read.

More than one sentences in italic at a time? I find that awfully hard to read. It is backbutton-worthy for me.

Section breaks are fine, either with time stamps or just making it clear in the text what time that section is in.
I concur on the section breaks.

"The Receptionist" does not sound like a show that would get high ratings. But then, I'm only in my third regeneration, and my most notable clothing item is a pair of lace drapes. Hopefully that's noteriety enough, as I have no companions and my catchphrase is 'Chalcolithic'. So.
I dunno...you might get some attention for running around in lace drapes. Sounds provocative!
I love the word smite too!

And as for memories, I prefer breaks instead of italics. Easier to read, for some reason.
I feel very strongly that italics aren't the way to go, not so much because they're hard to read, but because they imply that the flashbacks have not been properly seeded into the story. I'd use section breaks, if necessary, or just some sentence that establishes a general connection to the present "the first time X realized she was Y was when..."
I think I'm with the others on the section breaks. I've done both, but the way italics seems to work on LJ, it get's really light and hard to read. (anyone know how to change that? It must be in the customize section somewhere.)


I'm somewhere between The Teacher and The Instructor, and I am in my 6th regeneration. The most distinctive item in my wardrobe is my purple down vest. My companion is my fellow grad student Vince (not so excited about that one). And "Dubious" is my catch phrase, which, haha, fits.