How do we get to know the characters of the stories we either write or read about. One way is to weave backstory into book. However, you don’t want an info dump of information where you completely lose your reader as they’ve lost interest with your novel. You want to engage the reader from the first page to the last.
One place considered a no-no is to put backstory in the first chapter, and especially the first scene. As a reader they may say who cares because she wants to feel like she’s living in the moment with the character and not living in that character’s past.
Recently, I purchased a new ebook solely based on who the author was. It’d received rave reviews so I expected I’d enjoy this book immensely. However, I was so disappointed. Right on the front page was a major backstory info dump. I think I made it to the second page and decided to read another book instead. The writer lost me as a reader. I hope to come back to it someday, as I spent $10 (I think on the ebook), but that just goes to show me I really need to find out more about a book before I buy.
A great way to carefully weave in backstory is through dialogue. As the characters converse they can talk about a past event or maybe relay important information. Another way is to sprinkle it throughout the book.
Have you ever read a book before where you were immediately dumped into the characters past instead of the present?