Backstory usually refers to narrative that tells something about a character's past. It's given in an informational style without real-time action or dialogue. Notice I used the word "tells." This is a clue about why backstory in the start of your novel can be detrimental. Backstory doesn't show, it tells, thereby risking losing the reader's interest.
From the time I taught myself to read, I have been an obsessive reader. My mother used to joke that the first time she saw me without a book was at my wedding. (Little did she know that one of the things that worried me the most that day was knowing that I didn't have a "good book" to take on my honeymoon!) As a child, I was an undiscriminating reader. I read in the book aisle at E.J. Korvette's while my parents shopped. I borrowed books from friends, relatives, the neighbors. I read newspapers left in busses and cabs. Cereal boxes. Anything.
Another Viewpoint Okay, we talked last week about the book price war going on between Amazon, Wal-Mart and Target. This week we kick off with another viewpoint. This one from Marion Maneker, who writes for a website called The Big Money who provides articles for The Washington Post and other newspapers. Straight From Hel
This week I will be posting separate posts for Act One, Act Two, Act Two, Part 2, and Act Three which will detail the different elements of each act, but I thought that for those of you already doing index cards, it would be useful for you all to have just a basic list that you can use when you’re watching a film or doing the index cards for your own story, so here it is.
So, now that we’ve talked about the index card method of laying out your story, and basic filmic structure as it might be applied to novels, the natural next question is: what actually goes into a first act?
This is the magic of a well-written piece: for a few precious moments, you, as writer, hold the reader in the palm of your hand. Word choice, syntax, structure—all the elements of craft you spent so much time applying—fall away and your reader enters the world of story.
Dr. Rudolph Flesch, a staunch advocate of writing with purpose, advised in his best-selling How to Write Better that “the main thing to consider is your purpose in writing: Why are you sitting down to write?” To which E.B. White tartly answered, “Because, sir, it is more comfortable than standing up.”
First in a brand new urban fantasy series that's "fresh and funny, with a great new take on zombies" (Karen Chance) and "full of dangerous magic and populated with characters so realistic, they almost jump off the page" (Ilona Andrews).
If you were undead, you'd be home by now...
They call it Deadtown: the city's quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its borders-but Victory Vaughn, Boston's only professional demon slayer, isn't exactly human.
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I belong to this fantastic writer’s group called Sweet Hearts of the Rodeo and the group can be found at Writers University, which I have been a lifelong member since the late 90’s.
This is an intense study group that involves the reading and discussion of short stories as well as articles and books on craft. It is not for beginners. The focus is on literary and mainstream short stories, and the work requires a commitment of many hours a week. Word count is 1,500 to 6,500.