Day 5: Backwards


I worked way too late last night on the first thirty pages of my novel. I’ve recently realized what my problem is.

I don’t know how to tell a story without excessive backstory. Every time I try to advance the plot, I come up with some background information I find pertinent to the character’s development or the plot, when actually, it’s not. I can’t discern whether the information is or isn’t useful. I spend hours revising parts of the story — only to realize I don’t even need it in the book after all.

I think the only way for me to write fiction, is for me to write an 800 page novel, that I then cut down to 200 pages. I seem to have to write in the backstory for myself, just so I can figure out who these characters are, how they will react, what their motivation and vulnerabilities are. Many writers figure all of this out by outlining, but I’ve tried outlining many times before. I just can’t make it work for me.

Today, on Day 5 of Kids At Home, I went to the grocery store! The ice has almost completely melted. Our confinement has ended.

Fingers crossed for an early spring.

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2 thoughts on “Day 5: Backwards

  1. You must seriously know your characters before you begin. I tend to know some and not others but still end up rewriting and finding a simpler way to say the same thing or put a hint that before took a page. Maybe it’s all just part of the process.

    What I am a little envious of is that your ice is almost melted! Here the problem is where to put all the snow and it’s still falling; slow but steady.

  2. Hi Ryshia,

    Thanks for the comment.

    I think you’re right– I don’t think I know all of my characters well enough. I guess the backstory is a “get to know you” session.

    Sorry about all the snow. I hope it melts soon!

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