...show some back story that I want the reader to know about?
For instance, I love the way my heroine and her love interest (a main character) met and fell for each other right away (yes I believe in love at first...it happened to me!) so how do I tell the reader about this past history of theirs without a flash back? A few lines of some meaningful memory? what say you all?

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Hey Carole,

A great example of this is Michael Connelly's "The Black Ice." In an opening scene Harry Bosch is sitting on his deck watching helicopters attempt to extinguish a wildfire. "It reminded him of the dustoffs in Vietnam." **

This simple line adds lets the reader into one of the reasons Harry is Harry, without going into a flashback about the horrors... Perhaps there are 1 or 2 simple lines that can reveal the instant amour of your characters without stalling the forward narrative.

**source- "Writing Mysteries: A Handbook by the Mystery Writers of America."
thanks so much for that. Greatly appreicated. I'm going to try that out.
Check out Stuart MacBride's Cold Granite for another excellent example of inserting backstory without stopping the forward momentum of the current story. There was a discussion thread on here about backstory and info dump a few months ago - there might be some worthy thoughts there.
thank you SAndra, I will do just that.
Hah! That was a very good book by an author who was new to me.
definitely will read it. reserved it at the library!
many thanks for that. I understand what you mean. It's not complicated--this background stuff. Just how they met (which spells out who they are and what their relationship will be Also this is not some cutesy female Private Eye, she's damaged in a way from some trauma that happened to her in the past, which makes her what she is and what she will and won't tolerate--I like what you said about the talk between the lovers. as for the other--i actually tried writing about it last night after terry replied and I, in less than a paragraph was able (hopefully) to convey what makes her tick--by briefly mentioniong this horrendous thing in her past. thanks again for your reply.
I have learned so much about writing technique (among other things) on this site and in these forums. it's amazing. all the best.
Could you incorporate the information in a conversation with a third party? It could be between the heroine and female friend or love interest and his friend rather than between the two main characters. I'm trying to figure out something similar in editing my first book effort and this is one of the options I'm considering. Just a thought.
Yes, i think once we get to the stage where we have decided we don't want back story/flashbacks-we realize there isn't just one way to do it. Sure, that third party could very easily work. two women could be collapsing all over themselves talking about how one of them met her boyfriend and how funny but romantic it was (for exampe). Maryann, let me tell you! this would be my first book as well! Sure, introduce that information into the conversation between a friend or maybe an exhusband/boyfriend who deservest to be needled for some reason! like the heroine saying: YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT ROMANCE, LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING...! there are so many possiblities, once you starting thinking about it, I guess. thanks again.


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