…it’s an opinion. Thomas Edison
You know the type, the victims, the excuses coming a mile a minute, hopeless and everybody else’s fault.
You’re not one of those.
The ones who search out self improvement articles on higher possibilities, or random blog posts from strangers on the internet who might have a good idea…those are the ones who need it the least.
The ones who need it the most won’t show up here. They’re looking for the next ear.
The ones who don’t need it are too busy doing things to even take the time to consider failure as an option.
Be the one too busy, moving forward, doing instead of excusing…and a funny thing happens…
Doors open, progress gets made, a little every day…on to the next mission.
In K.M. Weiland’s book Outlining Your Novel she covers this well. The book is great in a lot of areas but regarding backstory I picked up these gems:
- We must give our characters backstory.
- Sometimes the most effective backstories are those that are hinted at rather than told outright.
- No lengthy flashback scenes…present backstory with a powerful punch and few words.
In addition… backstory may be better off staying inside your head. It may do the reader more benefit to have you use the backstory in order to drop into a fast paced read at just the right moment.
Do yourself a favor and read her book, especially if you have trouble with the outlining process…. and do your future self a favor by knowing ahead of time where this beast you’re creating is heading.
Yup, it’s human nature to think the other way around… “If I don’t have to do anything aren’t I free to do what I want?”
As Jocko Willink says in an interview about his book Extreme Ownership – How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win … “What’s interesting is that the more strict we were with our standard operating procedures, the more freedom we actually had to operate faster and more efficiently because everyone knew what to do.”
So to look at this from a writer’s perspective (comparing sitting at a desk to what the Seals do is ludicrous, I know, but stay with me)… if you have the discipline to do what we all know we’re supposed to be doing:
- Write every day
- Set a goal of so many words a day
- Build an increasing level of tension
- Don’t take shortcuts
- Edit, then edit again
- Then edit some more…etc.
These are in all the books, they’re no secret.
But the secret is… when you develop a structure in any aspect of your life, it opens doors that wouldn’t otherwise be there.
So go build your day… and let yourself run wild in it. For more, read his book.