On Back Story Writing

Somewhere along the line in planning my series, I realized that I really, really wanted to do an entire back-story type of arc to The Index. Now that I’m working on wrapping up the entire second arc, all three books of it, I’m starting to realize that there is a lot of story to write, and I have no idea where to start writing it.

It’s not quite writer’s block. I know what the stories will be, based on what I’ve written so far. I know my characters, I know what had shaped to become what and who they are. However, the trick is in actually telling those stories, and doing so in a way that the reader will enjoy as well.

In other words, the back story has to be interesting enough, both to write and to read.

In a certain sense, it feels as though I’m retelling the same thing twice, and therein is the actor-observer bias. I’m in the story, so to speak: I know what everything leads to. But at the same time, I have to be aware that the person on the other end lacks the same awareness.

But consider this: how many times do you read a story in the fantasy/sci-fi genre and wonder exactly what had led to the story and circumstances to be what they are? How did the character’s personality and experiences come about? To me, this happened way too many times, and it’s part and parcel of why I think that it’s fairly fitting for me to write Origins as an arc.

The issue is…whom am I going to choose first?

Initially, I thought Rena. She’s the flagship leader of the universe, she knows what’s what, she’s older than most people could even conceive…and she has a past that has more than enough grist for the mills. The thing is, I’m not entirely certain just what kind of a storyline to give her for a back story, but the one with Rhyssius, and even the arc for Shourron I, are a little more feasible. They both have plenty to offer to the current storyline, and even more to offer with their own individual pasts.

There is one small spoiler I can give you, though. The First sector of Rovillus, however quaint it might seem, a monarchy over farmland nestled in an otherwise modern and thriving world, is guarding its own secret, and it is a doozie indeed.

More to come!