Writing Tips that will take your story to the next level!
Ever felt like you don't know where your story is going? Ever had any doubts about the quality of your story (or even your ability as a writer)? Ever thought that something was missing from your story but didn't quite know what that something was? Here's your chance to learn how to improve your writing. Ten fresh writing tips, which I didn't make up but borrowed from other experts and tailored them to the purposes of my own writing. Enjoy!
2. Don't get sunk by backstory.
That's a common problem many writers face. When they plan out their character, they conceive all kinds of interesting backstory to explain why their character acts the way the do, why they are in their current situation, why, why, why. And then they go and cram it in all in the first few pages. Nope. If you do so, the book will soon be closed- and maybe tossed in the nearest bin (there are of course exceptions).
But why is sharing our backstory right from the start so bad? I'll tell you why. Readers don't care. Readers want to read the actual story. They were drawn to your awesome character and want more of him. If you refuse this, they'll get mad. In order for your readers to care about your character's backstory, they need to care about the character first. That's what you'll do first; present readers with a compelling character engaged in an interesting situation... And then, they'll be willing to find out their backstory, too. You can totally add backstory in the first chapter, that is up to you. But you have to first give readers a reason to care.
Another thing about backstory writers often forget, is that it's not enough to just present it all together. The best way is to sparse it thoughout the book, giving little hints here and there, so that your readers will wait impatiently to see what else is on the menu. If you put it all in in a fifty-page space, they'll not only lose interest but also skip those pages to get back to the actual story.
For example, in Harry Potter, Rowling doesn't start with the scene of the parent's death. The story starts with the hero, Harry, living with his bad uncles. Readers can't wait to see what happens next and they don't worry that much about how he got there.
As much as backstory is important for letting readers see what happened in the past, story itself is much more important. Consider this next time your backstory extends for more than two pages and it's still early in the book.