Tags:
  1. BowskiBear
    Offline

    BowskiBear New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0

    Start with back-story? or slow reveal?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by BowskiBear, Jul 12, 2011.

    Hey guys! I joined like a month ago, and this is my first real post since joining (other than my welcome post) and I finally got all my notes and ideas in place to begin writing, but im so stuck on where to begin! all my characters/goals/back-stories/ and plot points are written, but TELLING the story is a real challenge.

    Here is my question: Do I begin my story with my protagonists back-story? or do I slowly reveal it during the course of the story?


    Heres the Jist of my story - short as possible. 10 years after zombie apocalypse anti hero/loner Bane taking advantage of his immunity to the disease to search for his lost love.


    his back story (short) Bane was raised by a circus and fell in love with the animal handler Olivia. After a fight they had Bane ran off on his own. Upon return he sees the aftermath of his circus home after the zombie attack. so he spends the next 10 years looking for her. strong willed she is still alive.
    (The actual story starts 10 years after the circus massacre)


    so should I begin the story at the circus? Or should i begin in present day and slowly reveal his past?

     
  2. BowskiBear
    Offline

    BowskiBear New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    i should have mentioned, this is a writing for a graphic novel. :-D
     
  3. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Write story, not back story.
     
  4. WriterDude
    Offline

    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Messages:
    738
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Icy cold wastes of Hell. Aka Norway.
    Depends how vital the backstory is, I guess.
     
  5. BowskiBear
    Offline

    BowskiBear New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    well the backstory is pretty important, the novel is the story of him finding his love. I just dont know if to begin the story 10 years ago when the love was blossoming, and how they got separated, or slowly revealing it making the protagonist kind of a mystery man, having the reader curious why hes doing what hes doing, and continue reading to see. Im afraid tho if i dont begin the story with the origin, readers may be confused or even bored.
     
  6. another wasted day
    Offline

    another wasted day Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    there
    Break it up throughout the story, and avoid landing it all on the reader at once. This should help build up understanding of character motivation and keep the audience tuned in.
     
  7. BowskiBear
    Offline

    BowskiBear New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks "Another wasted day" I think that be the best route too.
     
  8. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Only use back story elements that are essential to the story. In other words, only use those elements that are an integral part of the current story.

    Hence, write story, not back story.
     
  9. WriterDude
    Offline

    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Messages:
    738
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Icy cold wastes of Hell. Aka Norway.
    Of course. But if the story is long enough and important enough, writing the full story in one piece instead of as a series of flashbacks can be a good thing. It makes it easier to follow it.
     
  10. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    But you shoouldn't be showing the full backstory - only the relevant details, tantalizingly incomplete, and only at the right time to reveal that nugget of the past.

    Make the reader excavate clues to the past, but leave it a mystery. Someday it could even be a story in its own right.
     
  11. [ESCAPE]
    Offline

    [ESCAPE] Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Madison
    I'd prefer you slowly reveal it during the course of the story.
     
  12. Gigi_GNR
    Offline

    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    12,143
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I love when novels or movies have slow reveals instead of backstory. Backstory can mean infodump, but slow reveal makes you want to read more.
     
  13. BowskiBear
    Offline

    BowskiBear New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    its settled then! slow reveal! Thanks guys - ya know, my buddy that referred me to this site was right. SUPER helpful, thanks yall ;-)
     

Share This Page