Trying to write a novel without first knowing the back stories of your characters is like trying to put on socks after you’ve already laced up your shoes. But here’s the thing, you don’t need to know all the back story, just the basics. The rest you can develop as the story and the series progress. After all, when you first meet someone in real life, they don’t dump their entire personal history in your lap. Or if they do, you back away slowly and reconsider if you want to be friends with that person. Just as you learn the back stories of your friends as relationships mature, so the writer becomes slowly privy to the personal histories of the characters he or she creates. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stared at the computer screen during a writing session and said, “Wow, that really happened to you?” And off it goes into the book.
Of my three series, the back stories that entertain me the most are those found in my Madison Rose vampire mystery series. Talk about a cornucopia of rich and varied histories. Vampires are a natural for a back story junkie like me. If a character has lived for hundreds or even thousands of years, think of the possibilities!
I’m eager to begin work on the third book so I can learn more about these fascinating characters and the other undead who populate the series. Something tells me, I’ve only begun to scratch the surface.
Sue Ann Jaffarian
Odelia Grey mystery series
Ghost of Granny Apples mystery series
Madison Rose vampire mystery series.
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