Festival of Writing 2014 Act Six: The Shark and the Iceberg
Shelley Harris introduced us to how to be brilliant at backstory and used a quote from Jeremy Sheldon saying a story was a shark: it needed moving in order to stay alive. Backstory has everything the reader needs to know to understand the story.
Objects are a good way of introducing readers to a character and the world in which they are set up. It also saves the need to give out lots of information. The language that a character uses also gives an insight into where they’re from, their education and vocabulary.
Backstory is also good at creating tension. The writer can stop a story in its tracks at a crucial moment, come away and go back in.