Other Cool Blogs: Magical Words – Lasagna Backstory

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Writing Backstory
Faith Hunter is a regular attender at ConCarolinas and one of the founders of magical words. On 7/23/2008, she shared this extremely good metaphor for how to write backstory into a manuscript (hint – not through an info dump!):

I love this explanation as much as I love my mother’s lasagna. Since I can eat mom’s lasagna as leftovers for over two weeks, I think you extrapolate how much I love this example.

Every story has worldbuilding – even contemporary romances. The characters came from somewhere; the locations existed before the characters arrived. We are only see the story through a narrow window of the narrative, not knowing who else is on the street. Some of this past may need to be shared with the readers – but (1) it’s a lot less that most authors think is needed and (2) it is boring as school history when dumped on a reader all at once.

The author is challenged to release this greater world information through a variety of means – flashbacks, dialog, or even part of the action. Getting it layered in with the other good stuff makes everything better.

Related articles
7/14/2020 – Editing Rant: As You Know Bob
11/26/2019 – Writing Exercise: Flashback
3/3/2016 – Infodump