I have gotten tips from writing magazines that stress you should have a back story.  That is what helps to drive the characters in your story and to give them depth.  When you socialize with people, you act upon the experiences and knowledge you have from your past so why wouldn’t your characters do that as well.

Look at the picture of this character and prepare a back story for her.


Where did she come from?  Does she have a family?  What drives the character?

Jenn Andrew
Freelance Writer and Book Reviewer


5 responses to “BACK STORY PROMPT

  1. Pingback: Homestretch | Doug Daniel's writing blog

  2. Among the Blackfin merfolk, it is forbidden to look into the mysteries of the deepest dark, home of the tentacled death, whence nothing ever returns. The Blackfin keep to their True Knowledge, which keeps them safe in the sunlit waters of the World Sea. To deviate from this Truth, or to inquire into forbidden matters, is to incur the wrath of the High King and High Priestess, who are charged with keeping the Blackfin safe in a dangerous ocean.

    But Sunset, fifth daughter of Spray Wavedancer, the First Trident of the High King, has ever been a curious child, who could not stop asking questions. Despite warnings from her father, and the derision of her sisters, she persists in studying their world in ways that go beyond the True Knowledge. She even learns the tongue of the sperm whales, and there she finally goes astray, for the whales tell her of the deepest dark, where they hunt the demons that lurk there. They tell her of not only their hunts, but of the hidden things of the deep– the black smokers, the blind life that scurries in the trenches, and the wrecks of ships of the land-dwellers, men.

    In her curiosity Sunset goes to the Trench of the Thousand Leagues, a vast gash in the sea’s floor. She cannot dive into the dark, but while she skirts the trench’s edge, a great seaquake strikes, and up from the depths of the trench is thrown a small orb, red and yellow, as if of glass, but in truth like nothing Sunset has ever seen. She takes the mysterious orb; when she returns to the city of the Blackfin, in which the merfolk are disturbed in the wake of the quake, she finds that no one else can see the orb, nor can she put it from her.

    But she has been seen at the edge of the trench. She is arrested, and brought before the High King and High Priestess. Despite the pleas of her father, there can be only one sentence.

    The High Priestess coveys her under guard to the nearest shore, and there the merfolk cast her out. Sunset lies in the sand at the edge of the water as the High Priestess stand on her tail in the shallows.

    “Cast out thou art, foolish girl,” the priestess says, “and never more shall thou see the happy depths. Begone, and suffer and die among the mortal land-dwellers, the humans, who are cruel and without heart. We true merfolk put thee aside forever.”

    The High Priestess, her attendants and guards swim back out to sea, leaving Sunset on the sand. And once they are out of sight, Sunset is griped in agony, as her tail-fin begins to change….

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