Skip to content

Backstory, Info Dumps and Character Intros

January 31, 2011

 I love craft articles.  I love Risky Regencies. Naturally, this post caught my eye.

        It’s about Backstory, Info Dumps and Character Intros.

           I’ve pasted a summary here, but please read the rest at Risky Regencies.

              Hope you enjoy it as much as I did,

                     Suzi 

at Risky Regencies

……..the standard advice for newbies was to avoid the Dreaded Info Dump in the first chapter and just trickle in details from the characters’ past as needed.

But I never became No-Info-Dump Purist (or a Goal-Motivation-and-Conflict Purist, or a H/H-Must-Meet-On-First-Page Purist) or really bought into any of the hard and fast rules beloved by some critique groups. The reason is early in my RWA education I also read some amazing books that broke rules. Intelligently, of course.

On one end of the backstory spectrum is Loretta Chase’s LORD OF SCOUNDRELS. It starts with a summary of the hero’s life from birth onwards. …..Readers in general and the judges of the 1995 RITA didn’t care. ….the beginning works because 1) it’s fast-paced and entertainingly written and 2) it really does help prepare the reader for Dain’s beastly behavior.

I found the opposite extreme in another favorite, Laura Kinsale’s FOR MY LADY’S HEART. The most heartwrenching details of the heroine’s backstory are held back until near the end of the book. ……something tragic that caused the heroine to develop such strong and sometimes sinister defenses. When it is revealed, it makes for a very powerful scene.

Anyway, how do you like your backstory served up? Any favorite rule-breaking stories?

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: