I don’t much like flashbacks and don’t usually write them. I’d much rather read or write a story in chronological order. Every once in a while, though, you have to work in some information on something that happened before the story opened. If that means a flashback, my preference is to make it as short an undisruptive (is that a word?) as I can.
That said, I just wrote a flashback in Chapter 17 of THE BARD’S GIFT. At least it’s not right at the beginning.
Of course, this is a first draft and nearly anything could change, but I think this works. My alpha and beta readers will let me know if I’m wrong.
The reason for a flashback in this one, is that the main character is suddenly remembering something she saw when she was only six. She saw it but didn’t understand what it meant at the time; now she does. And the knowledge will color the way she responds to another character (who happens to be the antagonist) from this point forward, so its important.
Sometimes, you just do need a flashback. Make it short (if possible) and connected to the where the character is in the story. Try to make it flow with the story and not force it to a screeching halt. Hopefully, I’ve done that. If not, well, this is a first draft. Everything can be fixed in the revisions.