Richard Gilbert at his blog Narrative has an insightful post on structuring writing. He notes how difficult it is to weed out the good stuff in our writing.
Weeding out the good stuff is often a matter of structure, and Gilbert examines a Writer’s Digest article on braiding, the idea of structuring a piece by weaving multiple story lines together.
The article addresses a problem we all have of trying to figure out how to braid in backstory and how much backstory goes into the narrative.
I know it’s a problem I’m having as I’m revising my own novel. How to Get On With It and yet develop my characters and plot fully. How much backstory, if any, goes into the story without bogging the story down, or confusing the reader?
I’m learning a lot about that from David Michael Kaplan’s Revision, a nice handbook on, well, revision.
His chief mantra is Get On With It and he offers a process by which a writer can do just that while re-seeing his fiction, or even creative nonfiction.