just read an article that criticizes using a flash forward scene to start a novel, and it made some good points. The gist was that flash forward is a crutch if the real opening scene (i.e., the next chapter) is weak.
Thrillers are my favorite read, and many start this way. I can think of other books that do too, (e.g., Kate Atkinson's One Good Turn). And, other writing advice seems to favor starting with a big scene, which is kind of the point in using flash forward.
Of course, I ask because, after trying several openings, my in-final-stages-of-editing domestic thriller has a flash forward opening. Of course!
Is there a general agenting/publishing consensus about flash forward openings? Are they considered a form of prologue (which I know is a no-no)? Does it depend on genre? Am I giving one article too much credence?
You guyz really love those rodent wheels don't you?
First ONE article can be illuminating, insightful and helpful but it can't be the One True Answer.
Unless you read it here of course.
You've answered your own question: you've seen flash forward chapters in other books including one by Kate Atkinson. Thus if the story needs it, use it.
You're also right though that using it in place of developing the story correctly could be a big problemo.
There's almost nothing I hate more than a great action scene followed by "meanwhile six days ago, in the kale fields of Carkoon."
The answer to your question is the same as the answer to all questions about how to write a book: it depends on the book.
If your book needs a postlogue, use it. But you might want to get eyeballs on it before querying just to make sure you're heading the right direction.