How Do You Share Backstory Information

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?

tumblr_mg4zjrIVjL1qhd2y8o1_500 Well, today’s gem addresses this issue. Autumn M. Bart (@Weifarer) tweeted an article from the blog Guild of Dreams: Backstory.

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

To read the entire article, click here!

And for more useful advice, follow Autumn M. Birt on Twitter!

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8 thoughts on “How Do You Share Backstory Information

  1. Good post! I actually find that one of the best ways to tell back-story is for the characters to tell it. In my “Hunter” stories series, I use info-dumps, told by the character, who lends enough enthusiasm to the telling that it doesn’t seem like a ‘dump’. 😉 No complaints on it, yet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Personally, I also like prologues, haha (both as a reader and a writer). But only if they’re done “right”. I’ve read some books that have prologues stuffed with unnecessary backstory. When that happens, I instantly lose interest.


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