Welcome back! I hope everyone had a great weekend. It was a 3-day weekend to celebrate Labor Day here in the States. While I love a long weekend, it's also bittersweet since Labor Day represents the (un)official end of summer, rings in the "back to school" atmosphere, and is the last real holiday some of us will get until Thanksgiving.
On Sunday, I brewed the fancy coffee and set up shop in my office. I tried to ignore my ancient (read: broken) desk and hard-as-a-rock chair and focused instead on my notes and my story.
About 30 minutes into writing, a wild and crazy idea hit me. Well, wild and crazy for me.
You see, I'm still very much a newbie writer. I struggle with character development, story arcs, world building, and plot points. So when the idea of writing in both past and present tense popped into my head, I tried to push it down. Alas, it was too late. The idea grew legs and before long, I shut down the computer and started furiously scribbling notes in two columns on a sheet of paper, one for Past Events and one for Present Events. I started plotting out how I could incorporate past into the narrative of the present, which needed to happen first to make the most sense, and what past events were suddenly not necessary.
I'm still not sold on this idea. I still call myself a new writer even though I have two books done. This feels like I'm jumping into the deep end of the Real Writer's Pool hoping I can doggy paddle with the best of them.
And, because I'm kind of insane, I'm also trying my hardest to do this book in Scrivener even though I have the older version. I recently read Justine Larbalestier's amazing blog explaining how she wrote Liar in Scrivener and I was sold. I knew I had to give this software program another shot.
So there you go. I'm playing around with a totally foreign (to me) novel concept AND am trying it out on Software Not Named Word. le gasp
If anyone has read a blog or better yet--a book!--that uses this technique of dropping in past events/backstory within the actual "current" events, please let me know. I realize this sounds kind of silly since just about every book has some element of backstory, but specifically, I'm looking for GOOD examples. I keep thinking back to The Intern's two blog posts on How Books Work: The Hunger Games (parts 1 and 2). I think the Hunger Games books are a great example of when and how to use backstory, though right now I'm envisioning my backstory sections to be larger, almost like chapters.
How do you incorporate backstory in your writing?