Monday, March 2, 2009

Conveying Your Character's Past

Here's hoping everyone had a good weekend. Welcome to Monday, folks.

My weekend highlight: pulling weeds in the front yard.

Alright, on we go to writing. I came across a slip of paper yesterday where I'd jotted down the following note for myself (apologies to the brilliant author whose name I cannot recall):

It's not important what has happened in your character's past but rather, it is how he/she feels about it.

Too many stories become overburdended with backstory. The beauty of adhering to the above-mentioned advice is that it encourages us to convey a sense of memories versus events. As an example, mention his most embarrassing adolescent moment rather than telling what high school he attended.

It sounds simple, but it requires an intentional mindset. Most people don't naturally think this way when storytelling. I'd say the ability to incorporate such subtle differences into one's writing distinguishes the master from novice.

1 comment:

  1. Backstory - so important to know. SO important to leave out!