Archive for July 2009
In my quest to learn and perfect the art of writing, I searched out and discovered what others thought how best to effectively add backstory. The following offered exceptional insight.
In Jessica Morrell’s book, Between the Lines, Chapter 1 begins an examination of the four essentials of writing backstory:
- raising the stakes
- revealing motivations
- expressing innermost fears
- revealing obstacles
In Tamy Tang’s article “Tips for How to Present Backstory: Make a Character’s Past History Compelling” she discusses the why and how to:
- Dole out backstory in bits and pieces
- Make the information vital for a character to have
- Make a character fight to acquire the information
- Keep the reader wanting more
Ginny Wiehardt’s article “How to Avoid Too Much Back Story” she cautions the writer to use only the absolutely necessary backstory information.
In “Tips for Writing Fiction: Backstory” Charlotte Rains Dixon makes several interesting points. Two are: “…use it only when the reader needs to know something” and “…writing backstory requires a delicate balance.”
On Darcy Pattison’s website Fiction Notes, there are several informative articles on backstory. One, the Backstory’s Emotional Weight, answers the question: Where do you put backstory?
I learned several years ago, the cardinal rule of writing: Everything within the story, must move the story forward. That also must apply to backstory.
I’ll keep these articles handy for review when a backstory enters my story, stage left.
I’ve noticed a lot of articles lately about the different writing spaces authors use while creating their masterpieces. The locations are as varied as the personalities. For me, at this moment in time, it is anywhere my laptop is located.
I see light at the end of the tunnel for my room to be finished… but, I’m not not writing while I wait!
Soon (is such a relative word) I will have a room dedicated to writing 99.9% of the time. The .01% is when we have overnight company. The laptop will then become mobile again, back to the kitchen table. I can deal with that!
This 1918 house is always under renovation. In addition, the totally new section added on will always be under construction. My new writing space/guest bedroom is in the original part of the house. And, renovation is slow moving…
We began with replacing the windows with insulated ones in April 2008. All four walls had to be constructed and attached to the wooden planks of a wall (originals did not have a drop of insulation) inside the room.
We also walled in the two exterior doors. Why they had two exterior doors in one 16’ x 16’ room, just around the corner from the main front door? Beats me!
We installed a new ceiling using slats, then painted the ceiling white. Oh, the walls are now such a delicate “slipper” pink. I love it!
It probably will be another year before I see the wood casing and trim around the door and windows and crown molding and new flooring…
But, I’m moving in there away…
Nature is such an inspiration.
The builder of this nest utilized the tools at hand. One tool the bird used was my hair, weaved through with the hay and twigs. It was evident the nest had been a hatching place then a first flight vantage point. Where it was discovered, it had to be rescued. Suffice it to say, I saved this nest and will preserve it as a reminder of how everything works together for the good.
I wonder how long it took the bird to create this nest? I brush my hair outside every chance I get, hoping for this purpose or will meet some other nature’s need. It was thrilling to see my efforts did not go unappreciated.
This is the way I feel about writing. I create to preserve a little bit of myself in each story I write. I am grateful and appreciative to those who read my novels and provide me with constructive feedback. They are my inspiration to continue, to push through the self-doubt, the block, and the frustration that comes with telling a story.