Yesterday, I wrote about backstory and how it can be used in story. I want to take it a step further by adding, that we need to find the root of our character’s tree. In part this goes back to the old adage about writing what you know. This includes what grounds our characters or where they come from.
But writing what you know, does not mean that you can’t write about what you don’t know. Think about it, as writers academic, nonfiction or fiction, part of our process no matter the genre we all have to do a good amount of research so that we can become experts and to write about what we know.
But going back to knowing the root of your tree, there is a reason why we as writers tell or write the stories that we want to tell. There is a drive that we have to tell particular stories. When we have that drive, we have the will to be strong and to be able to survive. This can also be put in the bucket of, ‘what kills us only makes us stronger.’
Just as we make our characters struggle when we break them down and traumatize them, we as writers also struggle and are traumatize. But knowing where the roots you can also give them a sense of where the solution for your character’s problems or the solution of the plot will be driven from. This is where choices are also made and come from.
All of this comes from the character’s backstory, which means full knowing what that backstory is so vital to the characters. It is also where writing what you know is also key. Let’s face it, if you don’t know your character’s backstory, how can you write it?
We also can make up our own clues on what roots our characters, through people that are or have been in their lives and the roles that those people have been to our characters. Think in terms of family, friends, acquaintances, politicians, famous, and none-famous. Whoever it is they had some influence on your character’s backstory, and that influence is also who makes your character’s personality on page one.
I hope that this piece of advice will help you with your writing session today! I also hope that you have a great writing day!