One would think that a writer would occasionally talk about writing on her blog.
One would think.
But I’d much rather talk about Nancy Drew.
So let’s kill two birds with one stone, shall we? Let’s talk about back story.
When you’re writing a series, you must share just enough back story to bring new readers up to speed, but not so much that you bore the series’ avid fans.
One way to reveal back story is through dialogue. But it must be NATURAL dialogue.
In the second chapter of The Mysterious Mannequin, Ned’s friends Burt and Dave bring us up to speed with this exchange:
“Nancy,” said Burt, “you working on another mystery right now?”
“I’m trying to locate a missing mannequin, believe it or not.”
Dave laughed. “That’s certainly something different. If I recall correctly, you started your detective career hunting for The Secret of the Old Clock, and recently we helped you solve the mystery of The Invisible Intruder. Boy, that was a tough case!”
This is a perfect example of how NOT to reveal back story!
Now, don’t think I’m criticizing Nancy Drew or “author” Carolyn Keene. They could never do anything wrong in my eyes. As I said, this is the perfect example. So, you see, I’m really praising them.
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