Sheila’s Book Review: Focused Backstory: The Key to Writing Deep Character Journeys by Carol Alwood

Focused Backstory? The Key to Writing Deep Character Journeys by Carol Alwood

5 out of 5 stars

I’ve read a lot of books on writing, craft, development and this is certainly a keeper for me.

As an author it’s important to me to continually improve my craft. I want my stories to entertain, inform and stick with the reader long after the last page.  This book absolutely made an impact on me as I was reading the suggestions and information for character development.

If you love to feel like you’re learning, you’re going to love this book. It has lists, bullet points and worksheets to help you apply what you’ve learned. Some of the lists I actually printed out so I could refer to them again and again.

If you’re an author and you’d like to improve your character development I highly recommend this book by Carol Alwood.

 

About the book:

Learn how to write characters readers will love. Has an industry professional told you not to dump character history at the beginning of your story? If so, you aren’t alone. But what’s the solution to this common advice? Most writers take the time to design interesting characters with troubled pasts. They long for readers to care about the characters’ lives. However, the sad truth is on page one, readers don’t care—yet. That’s why industry gurus tell writers to stop overusing character history, also called backstory, at the beginning of stories.

Have you ever wondered… How to use backstory correctly? What are the ways other writers successfully incorporate backstory into their work? Do tools exist to help writers better plan stories so the backstory isn’t such a problem?

In Focused Backstory: The Key to Writing Deep Character Journeys, you’ll find answers to these questions and more. You’ll learn how to avoid the dreaded info-dump and instead harness curiosity so readers keep turning pages. This resource breaks down focused backstory into simple pieces to use flexibly in any story no matter what genre or length. Worksheets, tables, questionnaires, and templates will help you plan an engaging story with deep characters. Examples from popular stories will help you understand this method. You’ll learn how to…
•design a character around a troubled past.
•create additional characters around the main character.
•weave interesting sub-plots within a character’s journey toward healing.
•design proper obstacles that interfere with a character’s goals.
•guide readers’ emotions so they have a satisfying reading experience.

No matter what kind of writer you are, if you take the time to analyze the use of backstory, it will enhance your style. Focused Backstory: The Key to Writing Deep Character Journeys is the missing gadget in your writing tool kit.

Carol Alwood has an unending passion for fiction, and she can’t think of a better way to spend her life than writing books for young adults and teaching about techniques she has learned along the way. With a Master of Education, experience as a content editor, and over a decade of establishing and working with critique groups, she is an excellent resource. An award-winning author, Carol finds joy in helping writers find the right tools to plan, draft and revise their novels so they can achieve excellence in storytelling.

 

Sheila English
Sheila Englishhttp://sheilaenglish.com
Award-winning author of short stories and comic books. Telly award-winning producer and director of many book trailers.

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