This week, Alida, Kathryn, and Robert discuss backstory, what it is, how it’s different from history, the whys and wherefores of not only writing it, but including it in your book.





What is backstory? And how is it used in your story? What is the difference between backstory and history? How do you know when backstory is needed? And how should you interweave it into your story?

What we talked about:

How do you define backstory? (0:33)

If you can cut it, it isn’t backstory! (2:00)

Backstory as a vehicle for character motivation. (3:58)

Why to use backstory, and ways to interweave it. (4:38)

Do you know before you write what will be backstory versus history? (9:52)

When should you lay backstory ground work for your character? (11:58)

When and how to use flashback for backstory. (14:26)

What about the process of creating backstory? Do we love it? Struggle with it? (18:15)

Don’t be precious with your backstory! (21:25)


Things we mentioned:

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Want more about these topics? Check out:

SWRT 001 Dialogue
SWRT 021 Distinct Characters
SWRT 028 Emotional Wounds Thesaurus

Have thoughts, questions, other examples? Join the conversation at the Story Works Writers Facebook group

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