This week I’m going to talk about backstory and how to make sure it adds to your novel instead of bogging it down. There are ways to weave backstory into your novel that work really well and there are some pitfalls to avoid. Backstory is all about your characters’ history and can help to establish setting or help readers connect and care for your characters. But, you have to be careful. You have to know when to tell backstory and when to show it. You have to know how much to add and what to leave out. Revealing backstory can be tricky and I hope the links I’ve chosen will give you a better understanding and some tips on how to weave backstory into your novel effortlessly.
- https://thewritepractice.com/weave-backstory/ – How to Weave Backstory into Your Novel: This article provides some excellent tips on adding backstory such as showing the action first before you add backstory. How you can use backstory to slow down your novel. This is especially useful after dramatic action scenes. It is important to remember that although you know everything there is to know about your characters, the reader doesn’t need to.
- https://www.writersdigest.com/write-better-fiction/how-to-weave-backstory-seamlessly-into-your-novel – How to Weave Backstory into Your Novel Seamlessly: This article talks about what backstory is before providing some excellent advice on how to use it. This includes not adding too much too soon and knowing the right time to add it. It’s also important to have the right balance. If the backstory is critical to your character, then it will also be critical to the reader.
- https://www.nownovel.com/blog/how-to-write-backstory-tips/ – How to Write Backstory but not Bog Down Your Book: This article offers five excellent tips on how to weave backstory into your novel without bogging it down. These include what to leave as a mystery, how you should only use backstory to explain character behaviours, knowing when to show backstory and when to tell it, and whether or not to use a prologue to get the backstory out of the way.
- https://writersedit.com/fiction-writing/the-complete-guide-to-creating-backstory-in-speculative-fiction/ – The Complete Guide to Creating Backstory in Speculative Fiction: Although this article relates to speculative fiction, the advice can be used in most genres. The article begins with a definition of backstory and why it is important. This post looks at things like characters, setting, deciding what to include and what to leave out, and how to weave backstory in subtly through narrative. There’s also a section on choosing the best way to incorporate backstory which looks at characters’ thoughts and memories, flashbacks, dialogue, and even prologues.
- https://nybookeditors.com/2016/07/use-5-tips-create-backstory/ – Use These 5 Tips to Create a Backstory: This article first looks at what backstory is before offering 5 tips on how you can create it. These includes whether the backstory is for you the author only, how to create character sketches, pinpointing the life changing moment in your character’s life, exploring the grey areas of your character, and how to use your character’s backstory as motivation.
- https://writingcooperative.com/the-art-of-revealing-backstory-in-your-writing-82a98c55deb2 – The Art of Revealing Backstory in Your Writing: This article has some great information on revealing backstory including how to make your reader desperate to know the character’s backstory. There’s advice on how to hint at the backstory in the beginning of your novel, how to use flashbacks (they can be tricky to get right), and how backstory can help with character development. There’s a lot packed into this article and I highly recommend reading it.
- https://prowritingaid.com/art/1050/backstory%3A-the-key-to-realistic-characters.aspx – How to Use Backstory in Your Novel: This article covers a lot and has some fabulous information. It starts by explaining how backstory can help you write your novel. It then moves on to how backstory can impact your characters before offering advice on how to weave backstory into your novel. The final point is that you will always need more backstory than you will probably use.
I hope you enjoyed the links today and have a better understanding of how to weave backstory into your novel successfully. If there is a topic that you would like to see covered, get in touch and I will see what I can do.
(c) Amanda J Evans