What is Backstory?
Events that occured before your story begins.
Use backstory to:
- Reveal important character history
- Provide context for action
- Reveal a character’s personality and motivation
“We’ll likely run into a shootout,” John said, touching the scar on his side.
The author subtly uses backstory to avoid explicitly saying, “John bore a scar from a previous shootout.”
Backstory or Flashback?
The current trend favors backstory over flashbacks.
Flashbacks are often accompanied by the cliché of a character dozing off or daydreaming and having to be jarred back to the present after a long recitation of past events.
To avoid that, and the disruption of your story’s flow, layer in backstory as the story evolves.