I’ve decided to place my children’s writing on the back burner for now and try my hand at creating a historical fiction novel. It’s my all-time favourite reading genre since I discovered Thomas B. Costain way back in high school. It’s turned out to be quite a challenge for me. I’ve rewritten the story at least three times since I started last year. Of course this means my other writing projects have to wait—I’m not the type of writer who can work on different projects at the same time.
My biggest hurdle is the dreaded backstory—the historical background as well as the character’s life history—both necessary ingredients in historical fiction, but not something you want to bore your readers with. You have to be careful to weave it into your plot without distancing the reader from the characters and their conflicts. I usually write up a detailed character backstory, which sometimes ends up longer than the story itself. This was often included in classic novels, but today’s readers don’t have the patience for all that detailed background. So I’m always left with tons of character backstory, which never appear, in my stories. I end up feeling sorry for those characters I’ve gotten to know so intimately and whose stories will never be known—who said writers don’t lean toward the strange side?
So … I’ve decided to pull out a few of my favourite characters’ backstories out of obscurity and present them on the blog. Maybe you’ll meet up with them in my writing. I usually find a suitable picture on Google and work from there, but I won’t be posting those on the blog since I’m allergic to copyright fines. My next post will be about Paul: (tall, dark, loyal, and fiercely independent), a strong Quebec lumberjack who refuses to fight for an English king.