January 27th, 2017

Story Genius on Backstory

Lisa Cron

Backstory is something writers often struggle with, largely because of the writing myths out there that make it seem like something that’s best avoided. Ironic, because by avoiding backstory, writers tend to doom their novels right out of the starting gate.

The surprising truth is that backstory is the most seminal layer […]

September 16th, 2016

Margie’s Rule #17: Finessing Backstory

Margie Lawson

Writers know the cautions about backstory. I’d bet every basic how-to book for writers warns against overwhelming readers with too much backstory.

Backstory usually kills pacing.

Backstory usually kills momentum.

Backstory usually kills your chances with an agent or editor.

What is backstory?

It’s story history that the writer needs to know to […]

March 11th, 2015

Keeping a Secret – A Great Backstory Technique

photo credit: Weekly Photo Challenge #18 – Sexism via photopin (license)

Readers are smart. Smarter than we authors give them credit for. They get where we’re going way before we think they do. I think that’s why it’s so hard to give them an ending that will shock them.

I mean, think of the […]

January 5th, 2015

7 Tips for Balancing Backstory

Shannon Donnelly

photo credit: winnifredxoxo via photopin cc

Backstory—the background needed to enrich a story—is one of those things that can drive any writer nuts. How much is too much? When do you reveal more? When do you hold back? Too much backstory can sink a story—because you’re not moving the story forward. You’re […]

May 25th, 2012

Dialogue is King

By Tiffany Lawson Inman

In theatre, dialogue is king. It is the lifeline of the story. Character’s lines bouncing back and forth between each other. Confiding, conspiring, commiserating, coercing, or caring. Dialogue works to create emotion, conflict, show character, and it always moves the dramatic action forward.

It seems that in fiction writing, dialogue isn’t […]