Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Backstory:  A story that tells what leads up to the main story or plot. 

Where should you put the backstory?  Many authors put it up front, however this can take away from the main story.  See Laura Moe's blog on backstory.

I have heard other others, agents and editors say that your backstory should be given in small increments throughout the story.  It is strongest in dialogue.

The backstory is mainly for the writer so that he/she knows where the characters have been and what has brought them to this point.  Yes, the readers may want to know this, too, but they want to get immediately into the action. 

And agents and editors will rarely pick up a manuscript that has an introduction. 

Remember you want to make an editor/agent and reader care about your main character right away.  You want to grab their attention with your first sentence. 

Yes, you see these problems in many stories that are being printed today and over the years.  As with everything follow your instincts.


Diandra said...

I find I care more about characters if the backstory is not given right away - it feels more like a puzzle, like, "I have to read on to find out what happened". But that may not work for all stories.

Y-City Writers Forum said...

Me too! I like to learn about the characters as I go along! :) As always rules are made to be broken, but sometimes it pays to know your audience.