—by Karen Dionne
Backstory refers to the characters’ history and other story elements that underlie the situation at the start of the book. Backstory helps to establish the setting and makes the reader care about what happens to the characters.
But as authors, we need to be careful: Backstory by definition takes the story backward. Whether we employ flashbacks, character musings and recollections, or passages of exposition to reveal what came before, every instance of backstory stops our novel’s forward momentum, and risks leaving our stories—well, dead in the water. See More . . .