1. Gammer

    Gammer Active Member

    Dec 13, 2008
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    Backstory or Main Story?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Gammer, Mar 9, 2015.

    My current WIP is about a princess who runs away from an arranged marriage and by doing so destabilizes the political position of her family. So her brother the prince goes out to find her.

    But as I started developing the backstory as to why their political position was so weak, I found the backstory to be a bit more compelling. The family has come into power by dubious means. The father was a ward of the previous ruler who died recently. He made a promise to the ruler that he would protect the heir (who's nine). The father then decided to take the position himself which caused a rebellion from the supporters of the previous ruler, led by his brother.

    Long story short, the resulting war caused a lot of damage and weakened the kingdom greatly, which is why the princess's marriage was so important.

    The story about the rebellion seems a bit stronger than the princess story so I'm not whether to make that the main story or just keep it as backstory for the characters and setting.

  2. Commandante Lemming

    Commandante Lemming Contributor Contributor

    May 8, 2014
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    Washington, DC, USA
    This may be overly trite - but which one do you want to write?

    That's really the only question - which one motivates you more. I have two projects - and honestly a lot of readers prefer my secondary project to the primary one. But the primary one motivates me more, i care more about the characters, and it writes itself more easily in my head, so I write that one.
  3. Bryan Romer

    Bryan Romer Contributor Contributor

    Jan 26, 2014
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    Why does it have to be either/or? Include both stories. In addition, it seems almost compulsory that the princess fleeing an arranged marriage is portrayed as a good thing, and expression of self determination and courage. But it also can be seen as an act of betrayal and selfishness. Being of royal blood (albeit recently attained) has its responsibilities. Very often personal happiness is the least important thing.
  4. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
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    Ralph's side of the island.
    Definitely write both stories. Start with the earlier one. It sounds like you are in the moment with it.

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