By: Belinda Williams
If you’ve been writing (or reading) for any length of time, chances are you’ll have come across the term ‘backstory.’
If you’re new to the term, basically it means ‘a history or background created for a fictional character.’
Backstory is one of those things that can get writers and readers pretty riled up, and for good reason. While it’s essential, backstory has the power to stop a good story in its tracks and cause monumental problems for a reader.
To understand why, let’s take a look at the concept of backstory from both a reader’s and a writer’s perspective:
Backstory for the reader
Why it’s important:
Without a solid and legitimate backstory, characters can become a bore. As in life, we are a product of our experiences and so it is in the fictional world. When characters say and do things in a book, readers must understand why, and backstory is a big part of this.
Why it’s a pain:
It slows the story down. Plain and simple. If a reader is subjected to paragraph after paragraph of backstory, chances are they’ll tune out and may even get frustrated and put the book down.
If the backstory stretches
pages and pages, you may lose them as a reader
forever. It’s like being trapped in the corner with Great Aunt Wilma who
is regaling you with stories of her childhood. It usually includes long
diatribes about people you’ve never met (mostly likely because they’re dead),
and by the end of it you’ll be diving for the drinks table or already thinking
of ways to avoid the next family event altogether. to
Backstory for the writer
Why it’s important:
. . .
Read the full article HERE!
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