Backstory is the tale before the beginning of our book. All of our characters have a backstory. But, only a small part is vital to our book—to our readers.
Remember, most backstory is not needed or wanted. If there’s too much, as with cayenne, and it will overwhelm our readers, then they’ll close the book and find something else to read.
So, how do we know what to tell and what to leave out?
As I wrote in my August 19 blog (see Archives) Getting to Know your Characters, authors have to know everything about their characters. 90% to 95% of this knowledge will never be published. However, the information is important so we know everything about them; their personality type, history, goals, fears, the lies they believe, who and/or what they care about, and their motivation.
Once we have detailed information about our characters, store it where it can be referred to often. I write mine on lined paper and place them in a three-ringed binder for just that book.
Next week we will tackle: Where should all the backstory tidbits be sprinkled in your book?
Until then, get to know your characters. Interview them and ask them all the embarrassing questions, just remember that just a small portion of this will be written in your book.
**No gossiping about the characters—unless it is for marketing, of course!
Now it’s your turn. Share your thoughts on backstory in the comments box below.
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