By: Roz Morris
There are two fundamental questions with back story. The first is how to present it (e.g., a vivid flashback), and the second is whether those back story events should be used as part of the main plot.
Here are 4 ways that back story might be sabotaging your novel’s effectiveness.
1. Your novel’s most engaging events are buried in a summary of back story.
I often see manuscripts where the writer has invented a detailed and dramatic back story for a character, but the main story events lack impact and substance. There is no meat left
for the book’s real-time plot and so the novel seems
empty and static. Of course, the story may be precisely that; the character
might be coming to terms with past mistakes. The focus might be the finer
detail of living with a burden, or leaving behind a golden period that is gone
forever. But just as often, this approach is not deliberate and the writer is
scrabbling around, trying to find stuff for the characters to do. They don’t
realize they ’ve already got fantastic ideas, but hidden them in the back story.
Could that back story be used as a fully fleshed flashback so the reader could participate? Or, more radically, could those same ideas be extracted from the past and reworked as a forward-moving plot? Consider whether your back story ideas should be front story.
2. Your novel relies on back story and secret wounds instead of character development.
. . .
Read the full article HERE!
If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
- I Love Typography » Blog Archive Apostrophes don't swing both ways — I Love Typography http://ow.ly/IpFvG
- Are You Leaving This Crucial Ingredient Out of Your Book’s First Chapter? - Helping Writers Become Authors http://ow.ly/IpKaQ
- Karen Woodward: Three Kinds of Micro Fiction: The Drabble, 55 Fiction and The Twabble http://ow.ly/IpKQ5
- Branding 101: What’s Your Story? | Jami Gold, Paranormal Author http://ow.ly/IpLcu
- Writer Unboxed » Six Things Every Writer Needs to Succeed (Psst: MFA is not on this list.) http://ow.ly/IpLKh
Does A ‘Writing Community’ Really Foster Writing? Or Community? | Thought Catalog http://ow.ly/IpMhA
:Women Writers, Women's Books http://ow.ly/IpMEK
- Facebook News Feed Changes (and What it Means for Pages) - Amy Porterfield http://ow.ly/IpN4z
Kidlit· Positive Versus Negative Description http://ow.ly/IpNsn
- How To Write Fascinating Amazon Book Listings http://ow.ly/IpNMC
Inner Author Nagging - Books & Such Literary Management
:Books & Such Literary Management http://ow.ly/IpOuy
- Author, Jody Hedlund: Do Writers REALLY Need to Use Social Media Anymore? http://ow.ly/IpQ5A
- How to Tell if Back Story is Sabotaging Your Novel http://ow.ly/IpQk4
- Winning the Plagiarism Battle | Author Marketing Experts, Inc. http://ow.ly/IpSnq
- Helping Writers Become Authors - Write your best story. Change your life. Astound the world. http://ow.ly/IpSBj
BookMarketingBuzzBlog: When Books Make Asses of Us http://ow.ly/IpSZv
- Q&A with Author & Editor Victoria Zackheim | by Chris Jane http://ow.ly/IpTkS 5 Questions on Writing
- The Must-Read Story for Writers with an "Impossible" Dream: Walter Reuben and "The David Whiting Story" http://ow.ly/IpTQB
- How much do you know about book marketing? - Build Book Buzz http://ow.ly/IpUJ6
- Talking Self-Publishing, Doing Rewrites | Catherine, Caffeinated http://ow.ly/IpV5i
Unboxed » Monotasking: The Forgotten Skill You (and I) Need to
Re-Claim, ASAP http://ow.ly/IpVfV
- The Story Grid. How To Tell A Story And Edit Your Fiction With Shawn Coyne | The Creative Penn http://ow.ly/IpVtm
- When Your Novel Writing Clicks | WritersDigest.com http://ow.ly/IpW9z
- What’s the Biggest Lie You Tell Yourself? | Jami Gold, Paranormal Author http://ow.ly/IqTh6
- How To Write Great Content: 20 Tips From Famous Writers http://ow.ly/IriIF