Thursday, August 21, 2008

I Hate Backstory

I hate reading it, I hate writing it even more. When an author does an info dump, I'm pretty quick to put the book down. However, backstory is a necessary evil.

When I was a kid I'd try to hide my green beans and peas in the mashed potatoes so when I had to eat them, the taste would be hidden. I try to do the samething with my writing.

My usual method is dialogue. I break the information down and spread it out. Kind of like one of those innumerable glasses of water Weight Watchers says I must drink everyday. If I drink two glasses of water, I can have a Diet Coke. Or if I fold a load of laundry, I get to play a video game. Such is my motivation for getting those pieces of backstory in.

But I'm at a point in my story where most of those tricks aren't going to work. I need get the info out in a hurry or the story isn't going to move along. Ughh.... However, I'm a writer and therefore think I have some developed imagination. It's my world, as long as I keep within confines of that world, I can do whatever I want. And since I write a fantasy type setting, the rules are pretty broad.

I came up with something clever and turned my info dump into an action scene. I do have to do some quick research on 1920's kitchens, but hey, better than long tracts of narration.

What do you think about backstory? Does it bother you? How do you fit it into your writing?

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