Back-story: Too much info?
by Special Guest Lia Davis
One critique partner says to delete two paragraphs saying it’s data dump and slows the story. Another says it’s great back-story information, but asks if it can be spread out. A third loves the world building. What do you do? How do you know if the back-story info is too much?
First, critiques are opinions and suggestions. You take what works for your writing voice and toss the rest.
The crits I mentioned above are three examples of those suggestions. Why are they different? Because people are individuals and we don’t always read the words the same. What is too much info for one person may be just enough for another.
As the author, we have to find that balance. Will you please everyone? Not a chance. I find the balance that makes me happy with outcome, and of course my editor. When I’m doing my self editing/revision stage, I look for information that I would skip over as a reader. I ask myself if the information move the story along. If not, I decide of what needs to be there and what can be introduced later on or through dialogue. The biggest thing is if you, as a reader, will skip over it then others might as well.
Kalissa Bradenton isn’t your average coffee shop owner. Born to an elite witch bloodline with a rare genetic mutation, she’s a Divinity on a mission. The death of her parents sends her away from her Maxville, Florida, home and into an ancient war between witches and demons. When childhood friend Ayden Daniels comes to her aid after an almost fatal accident, visions of a past she doesn’t remember sparks an old flame and new desires. With the past slowly becoming clearer, she eagerly sets her sights on mending Ayden’s heart and gaining his trust–until a ghost from her past returns to claim her as his demonic mate.
Ayden, the new Sheriff of Maxville and grandson of the oldest living Divinity, is investigating a series of Divinity killings. When he comes face-to-face with the one woman he hopes to have little to no contact with, old pain rises, quickly followed by anger and resentment. Through his rare power of adaptability, he learns actions from the past may not be what they seem. Hope fills his broken heart and determination pushes him to do whatever it takes to win Kalissa’s heart once more before he loses her forever.
Together they must find the strength to mend their tormented souls, while fighting an evil out to destroy the world.
Ayden Daniel had only been in Charlotte an hour before his cousin, Zach, called with a favor. No. Not quite a favor. A request that sounded more like a plea.
“You’re shittin’ me?”
“I’m afraid not. Charlotte PD said it was a hit and run.”
Right. “Please tell me she’s …”
“She’s alive. A bump on the head, but she’ll be okay.” Zach hesitated before continuing. “I know how you feel about her, but you’ll have to go get her.”
A muttered curse slipped from his lips at the same time his heart lodged in his throat. “Fine.” The word came out in an irritated huff. Ayden hung up and wished he had never answered the damn phone. No, that wasn’t completely true. He would never forgive himself if something happened to Kalissa that he could have prevented.
She was the one person he’d hoped to avoid as much as possible when he’d taken his place as Sheriff of Maxville. It wasn’t that he disliked her, that was the problem. Despite his better judgment and a glutton for punishment, he still cared too damn much for the woman.
The mere mention of her name made his pulse race with excitement. His body hardened at the thought of seeing her again after fifteen years. But his mind screamed to walk away. To let her be. Kalissa was trouble, and a hazard to his heart. She’d broken it once—torn it right out of his chest—at the age of seventeen.
A human friend had laughed at the mention of their young age and Ayden’s claim that she was the only one for him. A mistake on his part to confide in a human and expect him to understand magickin way of life. Magickin children developed at a faster rate. At the age of seventeen, he was as mature as most twenty-five-year-old humans and fully aware that he had met his eternal companion.
They were life partners—magical mates—destined to spend their extended lives together. To find one at such a young age was a gift.
A gift she stole from him.
Lia Davis is a mother to two young adults and two very special, equally different kitty cats. She’s a wife to her soul mate, who drives her crazy during editing/revisions. She and her family live in Northeast Florida battling hurricanes and very humid summers. But it’s her home and she loves it!
An accounting major, Lia has always been a dreamer with a very activity imagination. The wheels in her head never stop. She only recently got serious about publishing her work and loves it more than she imagined. Writing a stress reliever that allows her to go off in her corner of the house and enter into another world that she created, leaving the day job where it belongs.
Her favorite things are spending time with family, traveling, reading, writing, chocolate, coffee, nature and hanging out with her kitties.