Today’s post is about Backstory.
One of my favorite authors wrote the Riftwar Cycle. He spent years with others playing a D&D type boardgame. His books are based on the intricate world they created for the game.
A series that Jennifer just introduced me to, The Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan is based on the short stories he wrote for his son. It took years until he turned them into novels. He is an all-time best-selling author in Australia and New Zealand.
Backstory, like the 3-act structure or character arcs is something that a lot of writers don’t pay any attention to. But as I have come find, if you develop your backstory, world, and characters in structured ways like above, writing becomes easier. The characters, world, and story are fluid, complex and much more entertaining. If you create a story that you enjoy living in before and during the writing, it flows onto the page quicker and needs a lot less editing.
Everyone’s path is different, maybe all you need is an outline and off you go. A lot of writer’s find that fleshing out the world in different ways really helps. Or you can be a dedicated pantser and discover who your characters and world are on every new page.