The last post was about the plot of Driftwood and backstory. One of the things I’ve enjoyed most in writing Lives Interrupted is that there are no huge swathes of backstory to hack away, mostly because the plot is about events that occur during the course of the novel, and of course I’ve learned a lot about backstory!
However, I still had to consider life before the story began. Characters have to have a life prior to page one. Think about meeting someone for the first time. They don't just appear a minute before we're introduced. They already have a wealth of experiences, friends and life lived before we meet them.
We need to know the characters in our writing as well as we know ourselves. Actually we need to know them better, as I think many of us have blind spots about our own characteristics, strengths and weaknesses, but that’s a post for a different kind of blog.
Think about your main characters. What shaped them? What events and/or people had a major impact on them? In a positive way, or negative? How do they feel about themselves? How does this impact your story?