Okay, you’ve heard my thoughts on backstory, but what do the real experts have to say about it? I’ve asked other writers where they learned about backstory – here’s what they had to say:
From Amazon.com: “Stein on Writing provides immediately useful advice for all writers of fiction and nonfiction, whether they are newcomers or old hands, students or instructors, amateurs or professionals. As the always clear and direct Stein explains here, “This is not a book of theory. It is a book of usable solutions—how to fix writing that is flawed, how to improve writing that is good, how to create interesting writing in the first place.” With examples from bestsellers as well as from students’ drafts, Stein offers detailed sections on characterization, dialogue, pacing, flashbacks, trimming away flabby wording, the so-called “triage” method of revision, using the techniques of fiction to enliven nonfiction, and more.” (This includes backstory)
From Jeanne Campbell, The Character Therapist: A character’s back story is almost as important as the story unfolding on the page. Packed with insight based on a character’s family of origin (the people who raised him or her), this Writer’s Guide is the most informative yet, delving into 5 different parenting styles a character might grow up with, along with Attachment Theory and the 4 attachment styles a character might develop. The Character Therapist explains in detail the resulting impact both factors would have on the character as an adult. Ta-da! Your character’s back story in a nut shell. 37 pages. (available here)
I know there are other great references out there, but these two come to me with trustworthy recommendations. Now it’s your turn to share – tell me what you’ve ready about backstory? What are your favorite resources?