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Author Topic: Back story?  (Read 627 times)

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Offline Jjmeri

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Back story?
« on: March 28, 2019, 08:19:27 AM »
Hi I'm new to writing manga, ive always been more of an artist but I am currently trying to develop my story. The problem I'm facing is I have no clue where to put back story or the events that happened prior to the start of the manga. I've realized that at least a 4th of my manga story is back story. I was wondering if maybe I should dedicate a couple chapters specifically to the back story or if I should introduce back story through the characters reminiscing on the past. What are my options here? Thankyou in advance

Offline devola

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Re: Back story?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2019, 08:40:37 AM »
Generally I think it's better to try and tell any backstory you have through interactions and conflicts between your characters in your main story rather than dedicating chapters to explaining history/background. Remember that lore supplements and enriches a story, lore is not the story itself.

For example, if the world your story is set in is still recovering from a war, rather than having characters reminisce about the past or dedicate an entire chapter to telling the reader what happened, show the aftermath of the war and get creative. Show the reader the destruction left behind by the war, show your characters walking through occupied territory, show the subjugated civilians being resentful (or even grateful) to their invaders to tell the backstory through subtext rather than just dumping it in exposition.

In my opinion, well paced stories tend to focus more on what's currently happening in the story rather than what has already happened. The bottom line is, try and show the backstory through your present story rather than just tell it; get creative and find ways to introduce the back story through interactions, drama, and conflict!

Good luck with your story, hope this helps!

Offline Coryn

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Re: Back story?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2019, 02:22:34 PM »
Dev makes a lot of great points. As always with story telling, it boils down to show don't tell. If two characters don't like each other, and it's established in some way that they served together during the war, then the reader can make the leap that something bad happened between or to them.

When it comes to backstory, remember that while it's cool that you know it yourself, the reader only needs to know what's absolutely necessary to understand the current situation. If they don't need to know, don't tell them. Readers want enough explained, they don't want excruciating detail.

Lore helps you create well rounded characters, but the audience only cares about the result. It's more fun in any case, when you have to fill in the details yourself. It gives a reader room for their mind to wander and contemplate. Suggest the back story, and the reader will do the rest. It's like an optical illusion. You just need to convey the idea of a thing. The brain will complete the whole.

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