10 June 2011


The main storyline in Driftwood is linked to events that happened years before.  At the time I was writing the first draft I only had a passing acquaintance with backstory.  I'd heard of it, but knew I would never fall into that trap!  Everything in my manuscript was totally necessary!
After finishing a couple of drafts I was lucky enough to win an assessment through the Society of Authors.  One of the things the assessor, Loren Teague, pointed out in her report was the backstory.  Large clumps of it.  I took her advice seriously (on this as well as other points) and worked hard at another, probably a couple, of drafts.
Backstory, as the word implies, is information about things that happen prior to the start of the book, but is necessary for the understanding of the plot.  Necessary here is a relative term as many writers tend to think readers need more backstory not less.  I guess it’s about not trusting the reader to understand.  As a reader I'm irritated with too much backstory and tend to skim read it.  As a writer …

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