“When Martina first noticed Paolo walking down the pavement, she couldn’t believe her eyes. Never in her imagination, she thought about meeting Paolo in such an ordinary circumstance.”
Let’s say it is the beginning of a story. What is Martina going to do next? Aren’t Martina’s past encounters with Paolo would shape her behaviors today?
It surely would because the way all of us humans live the day is the result of our way of being and of our experiences right up to that point.
That’s why backstory is so important for your characters, for them to be humans.
The backstory is what happened to your character before the story began
Getting back to our story, who is this Martina? How old is she? How does she know Paolo? Are they friendly to each other? How does Martina greet someone?
These little details may or may not feature in your story.
But whatever happened to your characters for them to come to this opening point of your story is what an author should find out in the character’s backstory.
It’s the personal history of your characters, a fundamental step in the process of character development.
It is a great tool for the author, as it can hugely benefit in understanding your characters – their fears, inner and outer lives, motivations, etc.
Backstory impacts a character’s behavior and adds depth to the story
Whether it happened yesterday or a long time ago, different events shape a person’s life, and thus, could be included in your character’s backstory.
The richer the character’s backgrounds are, the more depth you would get into your story.
These details would also help you differentiate one character from the other with distinctive actions and dialogues.
Your responsibility as a writer is to give the characters’ human forms and personalities by pulling out significant details from their life history.
Some of these important life events could be:
- The time, date, and place of birth.
- Family orientations and the relationships with each other.
- Personality type, skills and talents.
- Educational background, profession, passion and hobbies.
- Current and past relationship status.
- Political affiliation, spiritual life, life views and goals.
- Anger triggers, goals, joys, fears, etc.
- Friends and acquaintances.
- Biggest failures, successes, tragedies.
So, immerse yourself into your characters and fill their lives with incidents and events. Let your imagination flow and visualize their childhood, their love life, their biggest support and such in the context of your story.
For example, if you know the relationship between Martina and Paolo; you would be able to design how they speak or respond to each other authentically.
It doesn’t matter if in your novel will be shown only one day of the life of our characters: the way they will live that day, every single gesture, will be the result of their way of being and experiences lived before the story’s beginning.
You can utilize novel writing software to create rich backstories
Sketching out the life of your character can easily get a little complicated due to the amount of information you could get. Considering that bibisco, our advanced novel writing software, comes with a fully-featured character’s dashboard.
With elaborate questionnaires regarding the character’s personal data, physical features, behaviors, attitudes, psychology, conflict, evolution, and so on; it challenges the author to think all the minutest details of the character’s life.
Intuitive, playful and easily accessible, bibisco keeps the authors motivated and interested to know more and more about their character’s life.
The importance of creating the life of your characters before the story’s beginning can’t be stressed enough. It makes them multi-dimensional, and in turn, makes the story memorable.
As bibisco comes featured with the most detailed dashboard to spell out the backstories of a character, it is now simpler than ever to add depth to your novels.