I told Facebook followers last week that I am participating in a Short Story Challenge.

Instead of creating a brand new universe in fourteen days, I chose a character I already know well: Sarah. She is Alice’s mother. And even though the events of Turning Point couldn’t happen without her, we don’t really know much about her. I’m changing that with this story. I expect this short will grow into Sarah’s own full-length novel, but not in fourteen days.

One fun thing about writing is creating and exploring a character’s history. I get to choose who each character is, what they’re made of, where they come from. And, as is my usual MO, my characters will push their way forward into a situation, and when they get there wonder how that happened. That’s where backstory comes in.

backstory monstersIt’s not fun or interesting to provide an information dump at the beginning of a story, so backstory often becomes interwoven into their lives, their dialogue. Think of your own life, when you meet someone you don’t just throw your history at their feet and hope for the best. No, you reveal it as time goes on – even if only subconsciously so.

Well, now, I’m learning about Sarah. Who she is. Who her people are. And I’m discovering there is more to her story than we knew. And that has major implications for our dear heroine, Alice.



I don’t want to give it all away, but I’ll give you a clue: Lancaster, England, 1612.

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