Saturday, 1 January 2011


Here we are in 2011! So begins the year of the multiple writing goals. Bring it ooooon, I say!

Anyway...I want to talk about backstory for a sec, because:

Some of the advice I've got lately on Sundown has led me to believe (in something of a mini-epiphany, really) that what I formerly saw as great build-up toward the actual beginning of the story was in fact just build-up for me. I'm the writer who knows what she can expect, and enjoys working up towards those moments. But the reader is at a disadvantage: they've got no idea what's coming next; they don't know what they're in for, and I wouldn't want them to nod off before they get to the juicy stuff.

Hey, at least my backstory is nicely written, or so I'm told. There's always that. Still, it is backstory, and that's that.

So. New plan. Shedding the introductory info dump, then working it into the rest of the novel wherever it fits. Sounds pretty obvious, right? And I guess it should. But I know it's not a crime to be so close to your story you sometimes miss the obvious. That's what happened to me!

In short, I've had some pretty useful advice lately, and I am so very glad I joined the AW forums! I highly recommend them for anyone who hasn't signed up yet. Anybody who thinks they can handle the at times brutally honest feedback other members will give them on their work.


  1. I just joined AW, but I haven't checked out the critique forums yet.

    This is a good point to remember. The author knows what's coming, readers don't always. And that extra information, even if it's important to the plot, can kind of bog them down sometimes. I have that problem in a fantasy novel I wrote and I'm still trying to figure out what to do about it. :) Maybe I should go check out those forums...

  2. Hmm... this makes me wonder if my first two chapters are actually necessary.

  3. Oh man, I just had my own sort of realization in terms of beginning. All of the exposition I wanted in the beginning was, as you say, for me. It does nothing for the reader.

    I've heard of AW before, but never really checked it out. Maybe I'll toddle on by now.

  4. Yeah, it's been a painful awakening for me, but I'm now experimenting with making my former chapter SEVEN the second chapter. Yes, that's how much backstory I had. Though a lot of it was my character actually in the present day, travelling to the point where she would meet her future love. Still...apparently that travelling stuff is just waffle. :D Pretty waffle, but waffle.

    Brooke - no doubt you've already had people read for you but maybe look for a total stranger. or post for advice in AW. I posted some chapter summaries to ask where people thought I should start, for e.g.

    Amber, I'll look out for you at AW :D

    Gryphon, it's pretty cool...can be a little addictive though. hehe.

  5. Not anyway who would have a good critiquing perspective. Maybe I'll try out AW one of these days.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Sorry, I left that comment above but it had a typo with my username. i would've left it if not for that. :P Anyway, if you do join AW, my username is yoghurtelf :D


Thanks for your words, me hearties! and don't forget to leave a link to your blog somewhere I can find it!