Sunday, November 16, 2008

The importance of the backstory

Sunday, November 16, 2008

As I continue my writing, I've become aware of the importance of the backstory. The backstory is the story which lies behind the story which the reader sees, the reason for the murder, etc., in murder mysteries.

The backstory determines what happens in the book itself, and in the end, the backstory is revealed to the reader. The fun of reading is to work your way through and discover what the backstory is.

And it's that way in life, too. We all have backstories, places we come from, people we have known. Those stories have shaped us, for better or for worse. We can live up to the promise of our backstories or we can overcome the problems in our backstories. In a way, that's what life is about.

So today, I'm thinking about backstories, the backstory in The Body in the Record Room (which is not fully revealed until the very last chapter), the backstory in the story I am writing now, and the backstory in my own life.

My own wish for myself is that I might contribute something good to someone else's backstory. In a way, that's what life is all about.


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