In traditional publishing, authors (and their readers) are often stuck with errors, but with ebooks, POD, and self-publishing, files are easy to fix and upload. Should authors make changes, or should books be set in stone?
We’re talking guest posts—both my upcoming posts at the Writers Helping Writers site as one of their Resident Writing Coaches and an opportunity to guest post here on my blog during the month of November. And *psst* I need advice for NaNoWriMo too…
I’ve offered several posts here about balancing various elements of our story, but there’s still room for debate because we have to find the right balance for our voice, genre, tone, and style—for our story. That means there is no perfect amount of backstory or description or emotion.
We often think about the purpose of backstory in terms of “what do readers need to know?” But with that perspective, it’s too easy to include too much backstory. Instead, we might be better off if we think about backstory from the perspective of what the story needs.
Today, Janice Hardy shares her revision advice on how to include the right amount of backstory. Too much slows the pace, and too little can leave readers confused. Her tips help us avoid the issue of slow pacing, learn how to hide backstory, and identify when we need more.
The stereotype of a writer pounding away in isolation ignores how the online writing community gives us more options. We can work in secrecy or involve others by sharing our work in progress. There’s no right or wrong answer, but we should figure out which approach works better for us.
Story beginnings are difficult to get right. We have to introduce the characters, the story, the setting, the protagonist’s longing, and show an immediate obstacle that creates a near-term goal. At the same time, we have to avoid confusing readers, and for that, we need context.
As authors, we need to be careful when dealing with shocking, horrifying, or potentially problematic story elements. Let’s explore the steps we can go through to figure out the right approach for our genre, story, and characters.