Thursday, April 17, 2008

Backstory

Today's topic is backstory. Friend or Foe, I'd like to know. Okay, just kidding. Sorry for the bad rhyme.
But really, backstory is one of those necessary tools that really gets abused. You, the writer, should know it like you know your life.
You, the reader, should learn bits and pieces and maybe never know it all.
It's a fine line on which a writer balances. Backstory (the character's past) should be sprinkled nicely throughout the story, not loaded in the front. Too much, you lose the reader. Too little, you lose the reader.
Eek, it's work, but backstory done well makes a character come alive to the reader. It gives them depth and motivation.
I've heard someone compare backstory to salt. I hope you get the idea. :-)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Wonderful

A couple of wonderful things today. First, Janet Reid's post. Can I just say that I love this lady's way of writing things? I may query her, even if my genre is not her kind of thing. She's awesome. Go on, read her post for today. It's a writer's best friend.

I'm also reading Randy Alcorn's novel Deception. I've always loved Randy's plots/themes, but never noticed his writing. Until now. The beginning of Chapter Two just totally got me.
Here it is:

"In the mornings I go fishing.
By the side of my bed.
For clean clothes.
I seldom catch much."
Ch 2, Deception by Randy Alcorn

Wow, I love it! Succinct. Yes, this is an example of great writing.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Divine Connections

Over at the Seekers is a wonderful post by author Julie Lessman. It's all about meeting people who influence your life in positive ways, taking your writing journey in awesome and great directions. It's also about being connected to people. Let's face it. Writing is a solitary endeavor and I've heard that most writers are introverts. I know I am. So hooking up with others takes a little effort, but it is SO worth it.



God puts people in our life as blessings. And he uses us as blessings too. (One of Julie's other posts).



Big Sighhhhhh. That blog just gave me such a toasty feeling.



Now on to less toasty things.



Big changes in the publishing industry. Check out this and this and this.



I'm not published yet and I can't help but wonder what the industry will look like when I am.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Coupla Things

What's the correct way to write a query letter? Check out Nathan Bransfords blog to find out the basics.



I read a bestselling author's book the other day. After a few pages I had to check the copyright because the book was loaded with backstory. Interesting stuff, but I still had to make myself slog through it. Turns out the book was a reprint. It had been originally published in 1987. But I continued reading because I've read her before and was sure that the promise of a great story was there.

And it was. But not in the writing style. The POV was all over the place and there were several instances of telling. I noticed because I'm now aware of all that, but I may not have noticed if I was a "regular" reader.

No, the thing that kept me up until one in the morning was the characterization. Her characters were so relatable, so troubled, so involving that I just HAD to find out if they'd make it. And they did! I closed the book with a wonderful sense of satisfaction.

The rules were different, evidently, in 1987 but the read was the same. Awesome.