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.

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