Baby got Back: How to use Backstory to make your front-story better.

Like most readers, I like well-rounded characters.

As a writer, I know the difficulty that sometimes arises from trying to create them.

So, what is the best way to create great characters that your readers will fall in love with?

Get to know them yourself.

One of the things that I always thought of  when trying out these “Character Interviews” was that it seemed to be a Catch-22: You needed to know about the character in order to be able to answer the questions. Yet, you only knew about the character BY doing the interview.

So, how did you get around that?

Maybe by treating the interview the same way you treated the manuscript; do a ‘first draft’ then revise the interview on the second pass through.

The thing is, as always, to have fun with your writing.

And surprise yourself by answering the first thing that comes into your head.

“Favorite Fruit?”

Paul Lynde.




I kid…

But just let fly and see what comes out.

There are several questionnaires online, ranging from ones with only a few question to one with one hundred questions.

How much do you need to know beforehand?

Not that much, I’d say.

Think of it as an acting class, without the potential embarrassment of having to get up in front of everyone and pretend you’re a tree.

Sit yourself down, get a beverage of your choosing and just start answering the questions, as if you were that person and a real life interviewer was seated across from you.

Or, take a blank page, have your character and another sit at a table somewhere, over dinner or drinks and start with:

(Insert Character 1) leaned back in his/her chair and said, ” So, tell me about yourself.”

(Character 2) cleared his/her throat and said, ” Where to start? I was born in……”

And go from there.







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