Creative Writing Fiction 2018-11-26 00:00

Holding Back Your Backstory

How Much Backstory Is Too Much

Many of our writers tell us they struggle with knowing how much backstory is too much. So when we saw this great post over on DailyWritingTips, we knew we had to share!

Let's dive in...

"Authors call the hidden part of a character’s life their “backstory.” When I was acting in plays, directors might ask me to decide what my character was doing before the scene began. Since my character is supposed to be a real human being, he has a life outside of what appears on the stage or on the page. Every character is like an iceberg – there is more to the character than appears on the surface. If it’s a minor character, the reader may never learn much about what is under the surface. But even if you don’t write about it, it still has to exist. A 25-year-old woman, by definition, has 25 years of life experience. Unless she was raised by wolves, she was raised by people, even if your story never mentions it. Everything she does, she does for a reason, unless she is mentally ill, and even then, as they say, there is reason in her madness."

Read the rest of the article on their blog.

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