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Backstory...

Post  Maggie on Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:54 pm

So I'm embarking on a mission to write some backstory about the childhood of my main character pre-chapter-1, and just wondering who here writes backstory and how extensively?

I usually love backstory, but I don't write a whole lot of it. It would help if I did, but for during the process of first drafts I don't want to interrupt the flow or the inspiration by writing backstory. Now that I'm on a later draft I have time to do this.

Thoughts?

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Re: Backstory...

Post  Amanda on Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:20 pm

I don't really call it 'writing backstory', but yeah, I do it. It's necessary for the inclusion of a lot of important info, and I generally prefer it in small bits and pieces, working in the necessary details a sentence or paragraph at a time within the rest of the narrative. Good luck on your later draft! Smile
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Re: Backstory...

Post  Maggie on Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:50 pm

That's a cool way to do it. xD And thanks!

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Re: Backstory...

Post  Sarah on Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:59 pm

I hardly write a backstory because when I start a new WIP I know everything about their world and the characters I'm writing about because it's like the characters a real person and I'm in their head (that's the only way I could think to describe it) so I know whatever they know and a little bit ahead.

I do write sort of an prologue before I start a new WIP it tends to sum up the theme of the whole novel and how I want it to sound and be like and then I just write from there. And in every case the prologue has become a part of the story, like in my first WIP it actually worked about being the introduction in the first chapter and in my second one it ended up being a scene like in the middle of the book. Lol, I'm weird like that Smile
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Re: Backstory...

Post  Maggie on Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:06 pm

@Sarah

That's cool! I wish I could do that. I tend to just kind of ...not know. I leave white space where (I realize later) there should be more I know about it.

Like right now. My last novel, it starts with her away from home and she never goes home. So I didn't really think a lot about 'home'... I just realized I should probably write a bit of backstory about life at home for her so I know what she misses when she has her moments, know what I mean?

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Re: Backstory...

Post  Sarah on Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:09 pm

Yeah I totally get what you mean, that kind of stuff gets really complicated. Are you going to try putting memories of her home into the story?
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Re: Backstory...

Post  Maggie on Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:11 pm

Maybe just a little bit. I just want it to feel more real when she thinks about home and such. Right now there are no memories, nothing to miss. When you're in an MC's head I think it's important you feel what they feel-- and that's a big one to just be white space, you know? So I'm hoping to fix it up. ^^

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Re: Backstory...

Post  Sarah on Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:16 pm

Yeah I know what you mean in someways, like I get how important it is to feel what they feel, but I've always known everything about my characters so I've never had to really think of it that way, cause where they came from always was the same in my head as where they are now, you know what I mean?
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Re: Backstory...

Post  Maggie on Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:17 pm

Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm almost jealous of that talent! Because I tend to leave stuff out /not think about it, it ends up being holes in my story. Crying or Very sad But I'm working on it!

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Re: Backstory...

Post  Sarah on Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:22 pm

Lol, knowing everything about them isn't as great as it seems cause you feel to much of their emotions cause you start putting yourself in their own shoes, since characters are usually going through some crazy stuff, it can really suck being in the head of someone really depressing and knowing every bit of how they got there. (lol, I'm being dramatic again)
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Re: Backstory...

Post  Maggie on Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:24 pm

No, no...I know exactly what you mean! I've been so involved in a character/story before that I literally sat on my bed almost crying, writing away in a dark room (I seriously didn't have any lights on... Shocked ) . I was SO caught up in it! VERY dramatic. My sister came in an asked me what the heck was wrong. Laughing


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Re: Backstory...

Post  Sarah on Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:28 pm

I've done that before! Well, minus the no lights Smile Like and everyone one was coming into my room and asking me what was wrong and I kept yelling at my characters haha it was really funny.
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Re: Backstory...

Post  Maggie on Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:31 pm

LOL! It is funny. Especially when it's someone who doesn't see me write a lot, like my dad. Laughing I think my sister's used to my many facial expressions when I'm writing. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Backstory...

Post  Sarah on Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:39 pm

My family is used to it when I'm reading but I never write around anymore (at least not for a few years) so I think they would put me in therapy for randomly laughing and crying haha
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Re: Backstory...

Post  Maggie on Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:42 am

LOL! Seriously. If someone isn't a writer themself I don't think they could understand. xD

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Re: Backstory...

Post  Sarah on Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:19 am

Yeah, they don't get it at all. My moms all like, "they're your characters, you can make them do whatever" and I try to explain that they actually ignore me and do their own thing.
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Re: Backstory...

Post  Maggie on Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:27 pm

LOL! That's funny.

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