Posted: April 9, 2011 in Writing
Tags: ,

Ah, free at last.

Should I quote the above statement? Oh well, let me get to the point. The past month has seen my ‘sustaining my existence’ job get in the way of what I really want to do, which is to write. I have been focusing on doing tons of paperwork, and that has actually made me not want to look at the written word for a while.

That all ended yesterday.

Now, during all of this, I did not just sit there idly. I have been working on exercises to get more life into my characters. I believe that I make my characters pretty believable, but I have mostly focused on the story I was creating. In reading over ‘Depths of Mystery’ I realized that my characters needed something. They needed, for lack of a better word, life.

Now, I am no expert on what I am doing, but I have learned something in my month away from writing. Backstory is not just needed for your story. I had always realized that there are times to reveal information about your character’s past in your novel. I had never thought about creating the backstory just to have something to springboard from. By developing a deep backstory you get a whole rich pot to dip into for major story elements, like motivation. It allows you to better show your character’s actions.

I have a character that lost his family in a tragic way. At first that is all I had, and I thought it was enough.  After delving deeper into my character’s backstory I have come up with more complete motivations for his actions.

Today I am finally getting back o my full writing schedule. I feel like an addict going through withdrawal. Here is to April break coming after this week. My goal for that week is 10000 words. Easy as pie (which is actually harder to make than you think).

  1. Marcia says:

    Great news, Jason! Good to have you back, too. Backstory on characters is a great resource to draw from, especially when you hit a wall. I have biographies on every character, even the minor ones. I also do a timeline for the story and characters…it includes dates of death and birth, marriages, moving from one place to another, etc. It helps me keep all my people and events straight. I suppose my timeline is similar to an outline. Anyway, good luck on your goal of 10,000 words, but however many you write, it’s moving in the right direction!

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