Using Backstory

Backstory is one of those topics that we hear a lot about.  Too much backstory or an info dump can slow your story – or worse, the reader gets bored and stops reading altogether.   Not enough backstory and the reader isn’t grounded in the world and invested in your characters.  Lots of articles and advice on that.

We generally love our characters – and we want everyone else to love them too.    So the dilemma is what to do with all this great information we have that can’t make it into the novel.  And sometimes there’s a really interesting… Continue reading

A Change in Direction

This year I decided not to enter the Debut Dagger contest, even though my calendar has been reminding me of the deadline for months.  The Debut Dagger is run by the Crime Writers Association, and is open to unpublished crime fiction writers from all over the world.  I’ve entered it twice – in 2006 and 2013.   I have had the January 31st deadline on my calendar since November and I was subscribed to the weekly competition emails.  Unlike previous years, the realization that the deadline was fast approaching didn’t herald a flurry of activity; there were just too many other… Continue reading