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This is my entry for the IWSG e-book which seeks articles on Writing, Publishing and Marketing. I give my consent for it to be included in the e-book. It is slightly over 300 words.
My topic is Writing.
Firstly, what is BACKSTORY? BACKSTORY is the history that happened before Chapter One.
What I've learnt about BACKSTORY:
- BACKSTORY should not appear until our readers get to know our characters -- some say Chapter Four.
- BACKSTORY is the story that the author tells herself. She needs to know where her hero/heroine comes from, the deepest, darkest secrets from his/her past. So make up a file, or write it into your story then move it to a separate file.
- The reader doesn't need to know everything we know about our characters. But how can you share fully-formed characters without being boring? Solution. Dribble hits of BACKSTORY through dialogue (but don't info dump). Creatively include bits and pieces from your hero/heroine's past.
- Write what readers will read. Too many slow sentences or paragraphs of BACKSTORY and the reader will skim, hoping the story picks up. Readers rarely skim dialogue. Don't waste time crafting clever paragraphs readers won't read.
- BACKSTORY is not a bad thing. Relevant BACKSTORY needs to be slipped into your WIP in an active way at the right juncture. Keep the story rolling. Keep the reader engaged.
SHORT BIO: Denise Covey is a writer of romantic fiction - flash fiction, short stories, novels. She blogs at http://laussieswritingblog.blogspot.com
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- What's your take on BACKSTORY? Anything to add?