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How to Write Backstory Without Bogging Down Your Book

Telling character backstory is sometimes necessary to show why your character has a specific motivation or mindset. Yet it’s important to learn how to write backstory that will not bog your novel down in constant harking back to prior events that occurred before the present time of your narrative. Here are tips that I hope will help you.

The 5 w’s of story – where, what, why, who and when – can all change to create variety and interest. None of these elements must change. The characters in your novel or your setting could remain fairly constant. Yet change opens up possibilities for new developments and intriguing new scenarios. These keep your novel exciting and interesting. To avoid your story stagnating in a single location, shift somewhere new – another town or country, from the city to the countryside or vice versa. Make sure any change of setting makes sense in relation to the story.

“If it feels that the middle of your book drags and loses pace, don’t be afraid to trim it down”

This is only the first part of a series of posts devoted to writing and developing backstories. I will gladly share with you some other tips in my following posts. Don’t forget to comment what you’d like to talk about in other articles!

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3 Comments

It’s great that you share these tips with young and aspiring writers. Even though they may not be writing novels, I believe it will be very useful for them to learn something new from a really skilled writer like you. I’d be glad to hear some recommendations on how a writer can develop the plot without cutting down chapters (I often see it in the books of young writers). Anyway, thank you for this post, it is very informative!

I completely agree with you on the last point, but I also think it would be great to find out the ways of correct relationship development between main characters. It would be really interesting.

Excellent article! Mr. Adams not just writes great books, his blog posts are also very easy to read and captivating. As a beginner writer, I hope these tips will help me finish my new book soon. I’m now stuck in writing a backstory. Of course, I’m waiting for the second part of this article and I hope to hear more about introducing minor characters. I believe they also make a lot of sense while building a plot.

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Since his childhood, Larry W has been obsessed with reading books. He achieved success in writing stories when he was 10.

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