Welcome to Twitter Treasure Thursday! So, as I’ve been revising my manuscript, I’ve been trying to figure out how to slip in background details about my characters and the world they live in–you know, tell the reader about the main events and conflicts that have led them to where they are now. Of course, there is the wicked temptation to dump all the information on the reader in one foul swoop, or even squeeze it all into a prologue. But many consider those big no-no’s.
So then how should writers present the backstory? How do we slip those necessary details in without committing a writing sin or boring the reader?
How much backstory should I spoon feed my readers?
I belong to a large online writers’ critique group, and I see this question posted almost weekly. Every fantasy and sci-fi writer in the group hops on the thread and gives advice; time and again, the consensus can be summed up as follows:
- Weave background information and world building into the narrative
- Avoid data dumps of historical details
- Under no circumstances put the backstory into a prologue
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