As a writer, it’s important to develop your writing style, plot, and all the surface drama, but the honest truth is this: what really grabs is the story.
It’s all about the story… and the story doesn’t begin on page one. The protagonist enters the pages with a story of their own, an internal story playing out in their external life. This is the skeleton upon which your book/story is built.
Without the backstory, there’s really no story. Being able to tell readers the story behind the scenes, behind the mask the protagonist wears, the truth behind the facade, the truth of inner conflict, self-discovery and resolution… now, that is a story that will linger on in the minds of your readers for a long time to come.
A few weeks ago, we looked at how to see the story behind the scenes. This helps greatly in developing a characters backstory. Remember, backstory is everything.
Go back to your answers to the exercise from that week (if you haven’t tried the exercise or would like to give it another go, feel free to do so) and, in that story behind the scenes, go a little deeper and try to understand the why behind your chosen characters behaviour.