S33E7 – Avoiding the Info Dump: Backstory

Backstory is a wonderful thing that will help make your characters feel rich and developed. Authors need to at least know the important events that led a character to where they are when the story begins. Those pieces of history can help readers empathize with the plights of your characters. Too much of a good thing, though, is a terrible thing.

When it comes to backstory, introducing it in small doses is best. You don’t want to overwhelm the reader with paragraphs of flashbacks and reminiscence in middle of a story. More than likely, you probably think the reader needs to know more than they actually do in order to understand a character.

It’s also helpful to remember that sometimes the slow reveal of a character’s past is more interesting. It builds suspense and a sense of curiosity. We all like a little mystery, after all. Ley and Leigh discuss how best to share backstory without it becoming an information dump.

First aired June 23, 2022.

About the Author
I'm an editor and cover designer for AspenHouse Publishing. I am also a host for AspenHouse's poscast, Writing Roots.

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