Back It Up!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by yesterday.  Lovely to discuss with you all! Stop by again and I'll bring tea and scones!

But now it's time to...


You're poised to write aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand...

Nothing. Your brain hits a brick wall and nothing is coming. You can't get your story to move forward...

...So why not go backwards instead?

(I'd post a photo of my car's gear stick in reverse, but I thought I'd spare you the cliché)

Characters don't step out on the first page with no background. Even an amnesiac has an origins story. Your character's history may never be the focus of the story, but you've got to have a sense of it in the narrative. This is completely unavoidable. If you never refer to the character's past, they aren't going to feel very real.  They have to come from somewhere.

Here's the where I'm from.

Think of how much events in your past inform your present. You don't talk about your personal motivations all day every day, but things that have happened influence what is happening and what will happen to you. This has to happen for your characters too. You can make their past obvious, it can be a mystery or you can make careful references here and there, but however you do it, give your character a past.  

In my distant past, I attempted to inhale Planet Earth.  Fortunately, I failed...

It might seem like a waste of time to write something you'll never use in the finished product, but writing back-story helps solidify your character.  You don't need to go back to the moment they were born and cover everything up to the moment your novel starts.  You need to find something in their past that informs the way they react to what's happening in your story. 

Give it a go and watch your writer's block crumble down!


  1. OhmygoshSOFREAKIGNCUTE! Look at little baby you! Awwwwww!

    This sounds like a great idea for curing writer's block! It's fun to imagine a character's story outside of the story you're telling. :)

  2. Laura: Yeah, you better believe I was the cutest baby EVER.

    Creating your character's history is really enjoyable and it can really help move the story on if you get stuck.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts