Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at The Right Mixture #2.
In my last blog I talked about using your readers’ imagination and started out with the tip to Immerse Yourself in the character, particularly the primary. I also mentioned using Backstory.
What is Backstory?
It is a tool writers use to acquaint readers with a character, place, or event. Instead of recreating the entire situation or character’s history, you can tell or have your characters fill in the details. This can take place in a few paragraphs or scenes.
Here is a possible example.
Seeing Gene with a happy smile on his face made Emily feel good. When he had that car accident, I thought he was going to die. Now look at him!
Or how about the same thing from the author’s point of view.
Seeing Gene with a happy smile on his face reminded Emily how devastated she had been when he was involved in a car accident. She had expected him to die. But now seeing him she was overjoyed!
Either one works. It seems like such a minor thing, but that little intro could be the catalyst for future events, actions, or conversation.
That example was only a brief paragraph, but you could have expanded it to a longer, more developed scene spanning several paragraphs. I would caution you that if you do that then definitely play off it later.
If you spend a lot of time letting the reader experience something, there should be a reason or a payoff for the reader. The example I used above could lead to a mystery about the car accident, or perhaps to a closer relationship between Emily and Gene, or something else altogether.
More on the Right Mixture next blog.
Tip of the Day: Use Backstory to strengthen story
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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to email@example.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.