Thursday, May 21, 2009

Backstory of our Characters

I’m blogging over at Lyn Cote’s Strong Women, Brave Stories blog today. I wanted to honor my grandmother for the amazing woman she was. I hope, once you finish here, that you’ll pop over there to read about her. And also enter to win Lyn’s Mega May gift basket!

Thinking of my grandmother reminded me of the grandmother in my new release, His Forever Love. Granny Bea took in my hero, Bill, and his brother when their parents were killed. The boys were in elementary school at the time. Bill never did really feel like he fit in in the town, Magnolia, Georgia. He was a geeky kid who loved to read non-fiction books about physics. But one person was kind to him—Lindsay. The heroine of the story. They became good friends and study partners through the years. And he couldn’t help developing a crush on her. So Granny and Lindsay were the bright points in his life as he grew up. He loved both of them.

At the end of their senior year, Bill was going to tell Lindsay his true feelings. But she showed up with an engagement ring. So as soon as they graduated, he skipped town, heading to Boston early for college. When the story opens, Granny has fallen, and he’s going home to check on her, having to face the townspeople he escaped, having to face Lindsay.

That’s the backstory for Bill. I won’t go into Lindsay’s backstory, but I thought I would show you how I work on a story. I start with their pasts and discover what brought them to the launching point of the book. And I also look at my plot idea and manipulate the past to fit, so that the characters will work well in the story.

Do you have the backstory figured out for your characters? Want to share?



  1. Hi Missy, I can't wait to read Bill and Lindsey's story.

    My poor characters are toting pretty heavy baggage. Most have had tough upbringings. I'm making sure the characters in the next book have better parenting. :-)


  2. LOL, Janet! I feel the same way. First book, she was a runaway from parents who expected her to be someone she wasn't. Next book, his parents were killed in plane crash and her mother died when she was a teen.

    So for next book, I tried to make sure the heroine, at least, had two parents, healthy and living. :)

    The proposal I'm working on, the hero and heroine have all four parents! At least so far. :)

  3. Hello there! So glad that you stopped by! How ever did you find me? Anita

  4. Anita,

    I'm not sure who from our blog stopped by. But I just checked out your blog, and it's beautiful!

    Thanks for visiting us!

  5. Missy,
    reading the backstory of Bill made these characters pop to life!

    Sometimes, I think the backstory is the best thing I have a handle on for my characters.

    It gets confusing and challenging when you bring them into present day, LOL!

  6. Missy,

    This blog was so helpful. I'm still quite new at writing and had very little info on backstory, although I developed one for the story I'm working on for a local writers group. After reading your blog, I understand what I did incorrectly in my backstory!

    I can't wait to read your book!


  7. Christy, you're right. The hard part is deciding what to write when in the present! It's a tough decision how to start a book. :)

    And Anita, the mystery is solved. One of our members, Jennifer Taylor, writes historical stories, so she's the one who visited your blog. :)


  8. Edwina, I'm so glad it helped!


  9. For some reason my heroines seem to have fathers that don't exist. They've either died or haven't been around. I have a great relationship with my dad, so....
    not sure what all of it means.

  10. Anita,

    Yes, I visited your blog and enjoyed it. Anything with the title of Castles always catches my eye. Thanks for stopping by the F.A.I.T.H. blog.