Plot Work and Adding Backstory

While working on the plot of MS:D last week and getting ready to begin writing in the manuscript again, I found a few issues that needed addressing.

When I’m writing a story, I know why my characters are doing what they’re doing and I know why they are stressed about the outcome of whatever situation they’re in. In my mind there are worlds of history between them and decades of experiences they’ve lived through to motivate them to respond the way they do to each other and what’s happening to them. I find that when I write the first draft of a story, I get swept up in what’s happening and write very close to the point of action taking place. Going back to complete revisions I’m reminded of all the places I need to zoom back out from the story to include backstory and information to clue the audience into why things are happening. I found this especially with one of my main supporting characters in the cast of MS:D. One of my peer critique members who read the story and gave me feedback pointed out how squeaky clean this character was. She pointed out how much he needed to be exposed to the reader to know more about why he is the way that he is. Once she pointed it out, I realized that right, the audience doesn’t know that his background is much more complex than he was presented in the first draft. I took time last week with all of those things in mind to go through the draft and make notes about what needed to be added where. Some places it will be as simple as adding some thoughts from the character to clue us into their thinking about a situation. Other places, especially to do with that character, are going to require more in-depth writing.

This week I am going to finish making notes in the draft and start rewrites on the story. For this manuscript, most of the work that needs to happen revolves around deepening the relationships and adding background about the characters. The major events won’t be changing and neither will the timing of things for the most part. I’m adding any new chapters that need to be written in Plottr as 5.5 or 8.5 to let myself know it’s a chapter that hasn’t been written yet and it needs to be connected to the story in that place. I haven’t tried that as part of my process before and I’m excited to see how it works.

In case you haven’t been told today, you are more than enough.

Happy Writing!

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