The website of the historical fiction writer.

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.

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