Thursday, October 30, 2008

Also Known as Harper...the Backstory

Welcome to The Backstory where I'll be blogging about beginnings, middles, and the details that fuel our stories.  
Backstory is pretty much hindsight without the 20/20 vision.  I think, breathe and live backstory when I'm revising and building the lives of my fictitious characters.  I am constantly thinking about what drives and motivates them. 
When I create my characters, there is usually something real that makes them come into being.  A situation, a place, an actual person.  It was a feeling I got from a person that made the characters take shape when I began writing ALSO KNOWN AS HARPER.   I had been volunteering at my local soup kitchen. I was standing behind the serving counter and I couldn't stop wondering about the backstories of the people making their way into the line.  Did they have a home or a job?  Was the dinner we were serving their first meal of the day, or of the weekend, possibly?  And then came the children.  I wanted to follow them home with a bag of groceries and make sure they had a clean, warm place to sleep.  I didn't see the defeat in their eyes that I saw with some of the adults.  The hopefulness hadn't yet disappeared.  There was shyness, but there was also a streak of strength and stoicism that seemed to be carrying them through their day.  That crept into my mind and took hold of me until Harper's story began.
So...what is your backstory?

Next special request:  The Call