Love it or hate it, backstory is one of most powerful dramatic tools storytellers have at their disposal. It can power up plot, add fuel to character arcs, infuse your scenes with tension and stakes, and create dramatic turns that push the story forward. It can even hand you theme.
Unfortunately, it can also kill Story.
Too often, characters have generic backstory, or random backstory, or backstory that’s a stilted stand-in for character motivation. Moreover, even when our backstory is beautifully developed, we can still fall down in how we get it into the page. The truth is, authors often deliver backstory to satisfy ourselves, not the reader. We need the reader to know something, so we just…tell them. Now the reader knows something.
But fiction readers don’t read to know. They read to feel. To care. It’s the author’s job to make the reader care, sometimes in the absence of knowing all the whys & hows. It's our job to push the story forward on every page…even with backstory. How?
We’ll show you!
Join Kris Kennedy, founder of Romance Writing Lab, to learn concrete strategies for crafting must-read backstory. Explore why backstory can kill story, and how it can save it. Learn how to balance backstory with the present day storyline, weaving it to create stories that keep readers up late, turning the page.
Kris Kennedy is a USA Today bestselling romance author, story coach/developmental editor, and owner of Romance Writing Lab, where she offers masterclasses, webinars, newsletters, and online writing craft programs (with community!) for fiction writers. Find out more at the website: https://romancewritinglab.com