B for Backstory

booksfreedigitalphotosnetBet you thought I’d go for B for Book, or B for Blogging. No. it’s B for backstory because when I’m editing fiction, the back stories drive me nuts.

I blame all these free giveaways that include pages of fill-in charts about the main characters. Colour of their hair, colour of their eyes, height, weight, birth sign, birthday,  school,  food likes and dislikes, hobbies, traumatic events….down to grandfather’s favourite toothpaste. It goes on and on until you have more info than even the main character’s mother could know.

I agree an author might find it helpful to know these things. It’s useful as an aide-memoire when writing series.

But I,  the reader, only want these facts on a need-to-know basis. I don’t want an infodump at the start that stops the story dead in its tracks.

How much do you need to know about the main characters to enjoy a book?

Today’s Tips: Author Review and Promotion Sites

Book Blogger List: There are instructions for authors and also for bloggers. Add your site if you do book reviews. Find a reviewer who accepts your genre of book if you want a review. Free.

The Book Breeze: Free listing in the newsletter for new releases.

Book Goodies: likes free and bargain books but does list all books regardless. Have a look. See what you think. Has lots of links to related sites and,of course, advertising options.

image books courtesy of  jscreationzs  at freedigitalphotos.net –letter b by Theeradech Sanin again at freedigitalphotos.net

 alphabet b

 

8 thoughts on “B for Backstory”

  1. I like to pepper the story with details like that, but only the necessary details, rather than dumping a ton of mostly irrelevant detail on the reader. I think some writers delve deep into their characters and develop their back stories so much, they feel the have to add that info into the book. I tend to merely hint at back story much of the time.
    As a reader, I tend to skip over big info dumps. I may miss something important, nutty I can’t be bothered to read through it all.

  2. As a reader I need to know some of the back story, maybe not all at once or right up front, but at least soon enough that I can get a feel for what is happening and understand how I should be looking at the story. I hate when they do what is called an “info dump” for the background story, or anything else in a story. Great post! If you have time you should stop by and check out my B post.

    1. Thanks, Lisa. Good to have my views backed up from a reader’s point of view. Your article for B was great fun–I enjoyed it especially as I love chick lit too.

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