1. walshy12238
    Offline

    walshy12238 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    3

    I can't decide

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by walshy12238, Aug 19, 2011.

    So, in the planning stages of my new novel, I have a dilemma.
    Basically, the story revolves around an orphan boy who joins the military when he's 16 (the coming of age in my world's society), and goes off to a training camp to learn how to fight with a sword, bow, revolver, shotgun, the works.
    When he comes back (now aged 18), he rejoins the family that he lived with since age 12 (when he became an orphan), but only for 6 months (the amount of time he has leave from the army for). After around three or so months, the neighbouring nation is invaded and calls for my MC's nation's help, which forces him to leave for the war.

    All of this is fine, as it's the backstory and such, but here's the problem: The main crux of the story takes place when my MC should be around 21 years old. For plot purposes, I need to include the backstory somehow, so what I was thinking of doing is starting the story around the time my MC is orphaned; then I can progress the story at a natural pace from there, instead of having to incorporate the backstory somehow through my MC's interactions or memories.

    Now I'm thinking that doing it this way would mean that either the book will be extremely long, or it will have to have a sequel/be a part of a trilogy. After thinking it through, it seems to be a better idea to incorporate the backstory as I go, but I'm not entirely sure.

    So guys, can I get your thoughts? Start from the very beginning, or incorporate it further along the timeline.

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. TobiasJames
    Offline

    TobiasJames Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    England
    What's the main event of your story?

    Because your narrative should start as soon as that manifests. In other words, "start the story when the story starts."

    Backstory can be incorproated via the subsequent narrative, but only if it is relevant to how the story is progressing. There are countless threads on writing backstory, so I'm not going to go into excessive detail. Just use the search function for "backstory".
     
  3. CottonCandi
    Offline

    CottonCandi Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    USA
    I would incorporate it along the timeline. ( seems very interesting make sure you post when you can)
     
  4. pattycat
    Offline

    pattycat Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Chicago
    I would agree and suggest that you incorporate the backstory into the rest of the book (and not as an info dump along the way). Let the mystery of your character unravel as the plot plays out. Feel free to use flashbacks or some other device to let us in little-by-little, placing each bit of information at strategic places in your narrative. For instance, if your MC behaves awkwardly with a motherly nurse in one scene, follow it up with a flashback to a time when the MC was ill and had to recover on his own without the help of a mother figure.
     
  5. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Of course you can decide! Being a writer demands that you make decisions and let them play out.

    take a deep breath and make the choice. You'll be a better writer for it.
     
  6. Phantomwriter
    Offline

    Phantomwriter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    I really enjoy the idea that incorporate the background story in with the main story line. It keeps things fresh and alive. I think starting from when he was a boy and working your way up seems long and repetitive- especially if you bring up points that we already know about.
     
  7. walshy12238
    Offline

    walshy12238 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    3
    Alright, I've decided to incorporate it as I go. After sleeping on it, and reading your posts, I've actually thought up a few interesting ways on how to incorporate the backstory.

    Thanks for your help everyone! :)
     

Share This Page