11 Comments

  1. Jordan L. Hawk
    January 7, 2013 @ 6:15 am

    I feel your pain. I had a lot – A LOT – of backstory in Hainted, which my editor had me take out. I didn’t whine aloud since I make it policy not to argue with my editor, but a single dramatic tear might have slipped down my cheek when I hit the delete key. 😉

    Reply

    • alicamckennajohnson
      January 7, 2013 @ 9:52 am

      I try very hard not to argue with my editor, one of the good yet bad things about self-pubbing is I get final say LOL Someone needs to make special tissues for writers who cry as they cut their favorite scenes

      Reply

  2. Bill Jones, Jr.
    January 7, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

    My first two books were originally one book. It is difficult writing a series, because you are faced with the decision of a having a fast-paced, though somewhat shallow story, or one that builds slowly, and is richer. I don’t think there is a “right” answer. We all feel our way through it.

    What I’ve learned the most, from reading, and from the editing process, is to start the story as far into it as you can, and let the back story fill in later. I’ve got chastised by readers who say they want to figure it out on their own, and not have me tell them everything.

    Reply

    • alicamckennajohnson
      January 16, 2013 @ 7:33 am

      OMG- yes I have started and re-started book one so many times! It really should have been my ‘throw-away started novel’ but I love it so much and had a whole series bobbing around in my head. So I have just been hacking away at it. I hope I’m leaving in enough to keep it rich, but not bogged down or slow paced. Of course no matter what I do there will still be people who hate it, but at some point I’m going to just have to let that be.

      Reply

  3. Kim
    January 7, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

    I admire your dedication to your story that you’d edit and revise it after all you’ve already put into it! I do like backstory but understand that it can drag a story down. I mean, I love The Lord of the Rings and there is all kinds of backstory in that book!

    Honestly, you just can’t please everyone. I’m sure it’s a fine line to walk between too much back story and a story that is superficial. I don’t typically like books that are all about action and nothing about character development. I need information about characters so that I can care about them. I remember reading a YA book that was all action. Within half a page the action started and it never let up. I didn’t care about the kids in the story at all, because I didn’t know enough about them to care. It was the first book in a series and when I realized that I didn’t care if these characters lived or died, I didn’t continue on with the series.

    Good luck! I hope you find that backstory sweetspot, and when you do please let us all know. 🙂

    Reply

    • alicamckennajohnson
      January 16, 2013 @ 7:35 am

      LOL- being a backstory whore my saving grace is a great critique group who can help me thin it out and find places to put it back in. At this point it is much less about back story as two stories. So all the relationships in the group home have to go- and my critique parents will be making me write that story separately.

      Reply

  4. gingercalem
    January 8, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

    Kudos to you for recognizing what you need to do and having the courage and work ethic to do it. Good luck! It might be painful but it will be worth it.

    Reply

    • alicamckennajohnson
      January 16, 2013 @ 7:36 am

      Thank you! The most difficult part has been re-learning my character. She has changed without those deep group home relationships and I’m a bit confused as to who she is now. But I keep plugging away at it. 🙂

      Reply

  5. Diana Beebe
    January 9, 2013 @ 8:17 am

    Ah, backstory…. You are not alone! I cut 30K from my book–all backstory and world building. I think I’m still mopping up the gore from that. Good for you for wielding the knife, er, pen. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    • alicamckennajohnson
      January 16, 2013 @ 7:37 am

      LOL- it can be a very messy processes especially when I start crying- and I am not a pretty crier at all.

      Reply

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