Backstory

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Rkcapps
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Backstory

Postby Rkcapps » Sun, 16 Jun 2019 7:26 pm

Interesting tidbit from the book I'm reading:

Many writers (myself included) write backstory subconsciously as a way of writing their way into the story. This is fine in the draft stage, but it needs to go. Why? Because you’re getting in the way of your own story. Have confidence that the story can show readers what’s going on, rather than you having to step in and tell people what the story is about.

McKenna, Ebony. Edit Your Own Romance Novel 3 books in 1: The romance-friendly structure authors need to be objective about their own work. . Ebony McKenna. Kindle Edition.

This can be said for the bulk of prologues too IMHO.

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Re: Backstory

Postby Enzed » Sun, 16 Jun 2019 7:50 pm

Very useful information, thanks for posting.
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Rkcapps
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Re: Backstory

Postby Rkcapps » Sun, 16 Jun 2019 10:05 pm

Joss, do you remember Jo? I've joined RWA, and she's there. She recommended this book :)

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Re: Backstory

Postby Enzed » Mon, 17 Jun 2019 1:09 am

Rkcapps wrote:Joss, do you remember Jo? I've joined RWA, and she's there. She recommended this book :)


Do you mean Jo who was a contributor here?
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Re: Backstory

Postby Rkcapps » Mon, 17 Jun 2019 1:15 am

Yes, she wrote romance. Don't know that she contributed much, but she certainly participated.

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Rath Darkblade
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Re: Backstory

Postby Rath Darkblade » Mon, 17 Jun 2019 4:56 pm

Oh boy, oh boy. Backstory ... too often it becomes an info dump. Best used (very) sparingly, lest it overwhelm the rest of the story.
There is nothing wrong with nepotism, so long as you keep it all in the family. (Winston Churchill)

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Re: Backstory

Postby Drakenwood » Mon, 17 Jun 2019 10:48 pm

I'd say that if you think a bit of backstory is necessary, just keep it as brief and entertaining as possible. If you write well, I don't see why any legitimate technique should be verboten.

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Re: Backstory

Postby Rkcapps » Tue, 18 Jun 2019 11:49 am

Snippets are the key, not chunks :)

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PaulE
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Re: Backstory

Postby PaulE » Tue, 18 Jun 2019 3:46 pm

Working backstory organically into your story is a challenge. In some cases the reader needs to know the backstory in order to make sense of something. I've seen more than a few cases where two characters who know the backstory have a conversation along the lines of "As you know Bob ..."

If both characters know the backstory, why would they have a conversation covering all the details? The conversation would more likely be, "This is just like Bahrain." "Yeah, except this time Jim isn't here to pull your ass out of the fire."

Less is more. Let readers fill in the blanks.
"If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do." - Angel

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Rkcapps
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Re: Backstory

Postby Rkcapps » Tue, 18 Jun 2019 5:36 pm

Yes, Paul, drip feeding backstory is one of the many skills a writer needs to master if they want to earn the title of author. And choosing which parts of your backstory to put 'on the page' is an even higher skill. I'm still learning. There's always something to learn.

I wonder if someone has written a book on this? Bet they have. I know Ebony had something about backstory in her book.


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