When the backstory is more interesting than the story.

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When the backstory is more interesting than the story.

#1 Post by Westeford » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:05 pm

Have you ever had this happen? You're writing a story, then you're writing the backstory for a character. Then you realize the backstory sounds cooler than the one you're writing. What did you do about it?

In my current project, one of my character's backstory is basically this. She was a former "Power Ranger" or "Super Sentai Ranger." The rest of her team was killed leaving her behind. She still has her old morpher and, she uses it in a pivotal moment in the story.
The main story is essentially a slice of life story set after the robot apocalypse. Each character remembers things from before the end, and it's about coming to terms with the past and pressing onward to the future.

My question isn't whether the backstory is good or whatever. It's about how you avoid writing a story with backstory that sounds more interesting than the main plot.
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Re: When the backstory is more interesting than the story.

#2 Post by Imperf3kt » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:29 pm

To me the answer to that is simple.
Either A: Your story is starting in the wrong place
Or B: You leave the player wanting to see the backstory and follow through by making a sequel / prequel work.
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Re: When the backstory is more interesting than the story.

#3 Post by Mammon » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:46 pm

Or C: Give the feeling that the backstory is intentionally sounding awesome in premise but not actually good in actual writing.

Especially with a slice of life story that doesn't actually revolve around the action, I think that you can easily get away with making 'more interesting' backstories or epic tales briefly mentioned. The story should make it abundantly clear that it is not actionpacked itself but merely wants the comedy aspects of that action. If there is actually action and drama in the story, it's not exactly slice of life.

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Re: When the backstory is more interesting than the story.

#4 Post by verysunshine » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:18 pm

Really, if your backstory is cooler but offers a different type of engagement than the story proper, then it shouldn't matter. Being a sentai ranger is cool. Your story is dealing with the aftermath of trauma, so the story is different and still engaging.

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