By: C. S. Lakin
So many new writers start their books with pages — even chapters — of backstory.
They want to tell the reader all about the creation of their fantasy world. Or they want to make sure readers understand every nuance of Mexican politics in 1956 because it will be critical to the plot on page 103. Or they want to make sure the reader understands every feature of time travel or cloning in the year 2133.
Then their writing coaches or editors suggest that instead of including all this material in the opening chapters of their book, they should just reveal the backstory through dialogue.
Aha, the author thinks. Dialogue — of course! But instead of jettisoning their precious descriptions and explanations, they essentially put quotation marks around the same ponderous material.
Problem solved, right? Wrong.
Your backstory can slow down the plot.
None of your characters should talk like the narrator.
. . .
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