Backstory explains how and why your character is the person she is: shaped by a background built on family, education and past experiences. The most interesting backstories are the secrets revealed under the greatest stress when her morality, beliefs and values are tested to the extreme. Never give the audience anything that they don’t need [...]
We're curious about the past, because we know there are interesting stories behind every decision. Some might involve intrigue ("She was forced to leave town') or romance ("They met at the top of the Eiffel Tower when they were both students in France") or corruption ("The politician used government money to pay for his Bel [...]
To understand your character, you just need to answer three questions: What moment defined your character’s relationship to her parents? What moment defined her greatest desire? What moment defined her greatest fear? These three moments reveal where your character comes from, what she wants and what holds her back.
We all have history. No matter where you start a story, you are never starting at the beginning. Well-handled exposition can bring perspective, dimension and needed context to your story. The hardest thing when starting to write is to stop your story turning into a biography, because the minute you start, you’ll want to write [...]
Backstory is the answer to how the character reacts. It explains how and why and who they are. Write up a history, even if you don't use in the story. In particular, write about secrets as it is these that explain the character's decisions, helping to dramatise and motivate the turning-points. The question to ask is [...]