Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Uh-Oh! There's a Problem!
How did this woman's heel break? I don't know. Do I care? Well, I might later, but I don't right now. I'm more concerned with where she's going and how she's going to fix it before she gets there. The rest would be unwanted back story at this point. I'm reading a popular novel right now (I won't mention the name or author) in which the entire first chapter is back story. I'm sorry, but I got bored and almost tossed the book to the side. I persevered, and as it turns out, it's a great book. Had it been written by an unknown, would I have kept reading? I doubt it. My tip for this Tuesday is to eliminate all back story from the first half of your manuscript. If you can't do that, at least eliminate it from the first third. I personally was hesitant about this with my own manuscript, but I finally did it, and guess what... it reads so much better. Some of what I thought was important information turned out to be not so crucial for the reader, and the stuff that was, well, my readers could have figured it out without me telling them. It's one of those pesky little rules, but I get the point. And, unless you are already published, don't risk it. So, read any books with too much back story lately? Written any? Go back and check. You'll be glad you did. Where do you suppose that woman was off to anyway?