Friday, November 8, 2013

Your "Apple Person"

Okay, now you’ve described your apple situation.

Time to take it a step further.

The person you created that is eating the apple must now have a backstory.  A history.

What is that history?

What has brought that person to the point of eating the apple?

Is it a poor person, whose life has had some serious downslides?  Is it a kid just home from school that has maybe been bullied by another kid or kids at school?  Is it a rich person taking the apple for granted, and eating it only to have something to do?

Is your person male or female?  What kind of job does your person have?  Does your person have hobbies?  Is your person a serial killer taking a break from slicing someone up?  Is your person a divorced single mom?

Be creative, and describe your person’s backstory.  It’s very important to know where a person comes from.

In the world of Justice Security, my characters are becoming known as the series progresses.  They all have histories that have led them to their current characters.  I have deliberately left some of those histories out of the stories, and have only hinted at what has happened to each person.  For instance, we know that Dexter Beck is a martial arts master and a computer genius.  What led him to the martial arts?  What event in his early life inspired him to become a computer expert?  I have never hinted at his past, with exceptions:  In Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Dexter mentions studying martial arts under Master Kim Po.  Percival “King Louie” Washington explains why he sometimes slips into speaking with what he calls “eee-bonic crapspeak” -  he grew up in Alabama, and it was a way to keep attention from bigoted white people directed away from himself.  We also learned that his mother’s name is Elizabeth…or, Betty, as he calls her.

Each of these characters has a backstory.  I have these backstories created and filed away, to be given out as the series progresses, and not all at once.

With your apple person, a backstory is extremely important to your story, whether you choose to share that history or not.  You are responsible for that history, even if it’s only for your eyes.  With a proper history, you know in your head…and heart…how your character will react to any given situation.

That’s all for today…use the weekend to create your person’s history.

And, pick up a book.  Keep reading!  Without a reader, what is the point of writing?

Michael  (T. M.)

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