B is for Backstory

My theme for the A to Z challenge this year is Storytelling. I'll be writing posts on what I think you need to create a good story; the posts will vary from basics that all writers use in their stories, to themes/tropes that I love to see in stories that I read, and that I use when I write.


B is for Backstory

Backstory is hugely important to every story; it gives your characters and your world depth. If they don't have backstory then they're just empty shells; they don't have any motivation, no reason for doing what they're doing. 

Now, I'm not saying that you need to include all of the backstory right from the beginning. In fact, I would advise against this; it would just lead to a huge info dump, which would stall the Action (which I talked about in the previous post) and bore the reader. 

It is a good idea, however, to be aware of the backstory before you start writing. You need to know what is motivating your character, why your world is how it is. The more you know about your characters and your world, the better your story will be. 

Your reader doesn't need to know all of this straight away; reveal the backstory bit by bit throughout the story, using your character's actions and reactions. For instance, introduce your character and state their goal from the beginning, but don't reveal the motivations behind that goal until later on, piece by piece. The reader will keep reading to find out why the character wants what he does so much - they'll be intrigued enough by it to read on. 

Comments

  1. Thats such a great info! I think Backstory is important too, because that is what forms the entire story!

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  2. I'm always tempted to put in too much backstory. I love the details.

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  3. I absolutely agree. Back story should be a living thing that develops alongside the character. Look forward to seeing many more entries in this series. --- Paul, http://www.theironpact.com

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  4. Backstory does help us learn more about characters.

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  5. Back story is so very important. Even if every detail doesn't go on the page, it still dictates a character's personality. Good stuff. :)

    A to Z 2017: Magical and Medicinal Herbs

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