One of my beta readers gave me some advice about how to weave backstory into my novel. This advice came because of my tendency to dump information into my rough drafts. That's how my brain is wired with writing -- I want to get that information onto the page first.
Admittedly, this draft I'm working on was one in which I had about 40,000 words in the first draft when I mapped out the story itself. Of course, that's not enough words for a book that's targeted at older audiences. So then comes how I want to expand upon and that's when I start spilling out the backstory.
Some might say tossing out that backstory isn't the best way to write, but I don't believe there is a right way or a wrong way to writing those first couple of drafts. After all, writers complete multiple drafts for a reason. It's important to throw stuff out there in the early stages so you get an idea about how the story takes shape in your mind versus how it actually takes shape toward a finished product.
It's that finished product which you need to get right, because that's the product you intend to send to agents, publishers and the general public for their review. Your first draft is never going to look like that finished product, unless you had one of those rare moments in which you got it right the first time (and if you had one of those moments, I'd sure love to hear about it!).
As we learn more from our writing experiences, we believe we should reach the point in which less editing and revising is necessary from the first draft and go through fewer steps toward a finished product. But I suspect most of us forget some of the things we've learned because we are eager to get our story written, that our minds are wired to regurgitate whatever's on our mind. Or we have certain events or characters we really wanted to work into the story, but upon further review, we determined they didn't fit.
And that's OK. We have to remember that writing is a process and completing the final draft takes time. The important thing to remember is that we write multiple drafts for a reason. It starts with putting out the ideas we have into words without worrying about the rules, followed by applying the rules so we have a proper final draft.
On another note, I am hoping that I will have some more news to share in the coming weeks regarding my upcoming novel. I know a couple of things related to it but want to wait until I get confirmation on them before I make any announcements.
And in the coming weeks, I'll be hosting a couple more Twenty Questions sessions.
Enjoy your week, everybody.