The Struggle of Backstory

Back Story-2Many things go into the process of writing a novel. There are innumerable books and websites to help you bring the dream of your novel to fruition.

The dreaded backstory or info dump, is one of the elements that give many authors grief, including me.

As I began my journey, everything I read said to avoid info dumps and backstory. I wondered why. Isn’t the history of what drives your character the foundation of your story? It left me confused and, at times, discouraged.

I wrote and re-wrote chapters trying to make sure I wasn’t introducing too much or too early. Maybe that’s the newbie author in me but thanks to Lisa Cron from Writer Unboxed  I finally have a grasp on the concept of when and how to use backstory effectively.

Backstory is important, even in the first chapter. The key is to make it seamless. Lisa gives numerous examples from published novels which clarified this issue for me better than anything I’ve read or studied to date.

So, if you’re struggling with the backstory issue, check out The Shocking Truth About Info Dumps.

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilagood, and Contently.

 

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11 thoughts on “The Struggle of Backstory

  1. Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog and commented:
    This is a timely post. My editor always points out my inclination to do an info dump at the beginning of each book in my series. We have to compromise to the fact that people have either read my previous books and know the back story, or I should tease them with enough back story to make them want to read the previous books. Enjoy this post.

    Like

  2. Hmmm. This has given me something to ponder. Mad eme think about books I’ve loved and read several times. Good example would be anything by Austen. She weaves backstory so quitely into the novels that you hardly realize she’s doing it, but she certainly does help flesh out her characters that way. Most interesting. Thanks, Sheila.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sometimes, fully fleshed out characters beg for you to use all that info, and it is a mistake. Too much info and the reader feels disconnected, but if you dole it out piece by piece, breadcrumb style, you can lead Hansel and Gretle home. Or something like that.

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