Friday, August 30, 2013

“Backstory”: Hooking the Reader through Character Building with Brian McBride

    Wasn’t Scotty’s post last week terrific? Anyway, this post is going to be really short and to the point. :)

1.      Characters Have History.
Just like in reality, characters have a background, a history. The year they were born, major events that have happened to them over time. Good days, bad days. Creating a backstory isn’t necessary, per se, but if you want to give your story that 3 dimensional effect every story should have, you should at least know what your character’s history is, even if you don’t include it in your story.
A)    Keep a notebook handy with information related to your character’s history. For example, birthday, major events (the day s/he found out s/he had cancer, the day his/her father/mother/brother/sister died, etc…), and so on.
B)    Memorize this information. You should know every little detail about your characters. This will help your writing to remain consistent. For example, if you say your MC was born in July at the beginning of the book, but then you forget and say he was born in December. In this type of event, it’s good to know your character by heart.

2.      Characters Have Relationships.
Every character has a relationship with someone. Even if the relationship is a bad one. Characters have parents, siblings, boy/girlfriends, enemies, etc… This is an important aspect to reveal in a story. Your story’s antagonist should have some sort of relationship with the MC. Not necessarily a blood relationship or a friendship. Your antagonist could only be mildly associated with your MC and would still qualify as a relationship.
    Unless your character is meant to be a figurative “hermit” build relationships between him/her and other supporting characters.

    So, there you have it! Just some tips on how to give the backstory needed to your character. :) Be sure to leave a comment with questions, or anything really. I love hearing from you!

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