Tuesday, October 17, 2006

CWO – Character Backstory

Captain’s Log, Stardate 10.17.2006

Blog book giveaway:
To enter, go to the blog links below and post a comment there.
My Thursday book giveaway is Hot Flashes and Cold Cream by Diann Hunt.
My Monday book giveaway is Violette Between by Alison Strobel.
You can still enter both giveaways. On Thursday, I'll draw the winner for the Hot Flashes and Cold Cream and post the title for another book I'm giving away.

Pick my title! I’m still holding a poll for the title of my book! Go to this blog post to cast your vote!

Check out Christian Women Online (click on the button above) to see what other women are blogging about this quote:

"It doesn’t matter what is behind you as much as it matters who is beside you."
~ Ellen ~
"Laced with Grace"

I’m rather torn about this quote. I do like it—it brings to mind the strength, prayers, and support of my husband, my parents, my friends on my writing journey. Where would I be without them, especially the past 12-14 months with all the ups and downs of being contracted and coordinating the Genesis contest?

At the same time, I really do think that what’s behind us makes a big difference.

I know many people have painful pasts, and I’m not saying we should dwell on it. But what happened to me—good and bad—shaped who I am today.

As a writer, I look first to a character’s backstory to discover what they want and why. Even if a lot of that fictional past history never makes it into the novel, I need to know what happened because, well, I’m writing their story. I need to understand the character deeply in order to know how they’d react to the juicy conflict I throw at them in the book.

(And yes, I often talk about my characters as if they’re real people. When you think about them for 8-12 hours a day while typing into a computer screen, see how stable your mind remains.)

I’m like my characters. The things that happened to me—in fact, every step of my life’s journey—was orchestrated by God to bring me to this exact same place I am today.

I didn’t make the best choices along the way, but He compensated. It’s all good.

I’m grateful for who are beside me today, but I can’t discount the things behind me that molded me.

The funny thing is, I’m not even a very sentimental person. LOL!

TMI (Camy’s oversharing section):

Writing: In case you were wondering, I finished my revisions in the wee hours of Monday morning around 4 a.m. That’s a bit late, even for me, but I’m also such a night owl that it’s not as impossible as me waking up at 4 a.m.

Next I’ll be working on my big huge website contest which was supposed to go live last month, but which I can hopefully start this week.

Diet: Captain Caffeine had to fix my exercise bike tonight—the rubber thingy had gotten off track from the wheely thingy. (Very technical, aren’t I?)

I had a relatively low-carb day—dinner was salad. I’m so glad spinach is no longer, well, lethal. E. coli is nasty stuff—I worked with it in my biology research. Although come to think of it, I worked with cancer cells, too, so the E. coli was pretty tame in comparison.

I was so proud of myself for having salad. Just had too much stuff (read: fattening) on top of my spinach.


  1. I absolutely agree that our past makes us who we are. I wouldn't trade my past (the good and the bad) because I wouldn't be the person I am today without it. And it is because God was behind me back then, and is beside me now and is also ahead of me in my future that makes it possible to live with some of the quite stupid mistakes I've made. Thanks for a great post.

  2. What a great take on the qoute! I do agree what we all have left behind is what made us the people we are! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Camy, that was great. I had to reword mine several times because so many women have pain in their past that does affect them today. You are right. Thanks for bringing that out, I enjoyed it.

  4. Camy, you're right about our pasts (the good and the bad) shaping us to be who and what we are today. I loved your take on this quote.

    BTW, I'm proud of you too for having a salad even if it had too much stuff. Lol, a salad with too much stuff is better than no salad at all and just lots of stuff. (did that even make sense?)

  5. It is so true about can't discount the past. I don't like mine, but it helped me see my issues and I am better now b/c of it.

  6. I can totally relate. If I traded my past I wouldn't be who I am today! I loved the way you related it to your characters. I often think of my backstory and wonder what "my book" would look like. Sometimes I even do a GMC on myself!

  7. Excellent take on today's quote! I never thought about taking on the perspective of the past being behind us. Really enjoyed reading today's CWO from you!

  8. Yup, our past is important to who we are, but doesn't have to define where we are going! Thanks for your post! I like the perspective you gave to it.

  9. Awww Camster... I'm of the opinion you're a little more sentimental than you admit.

  10. That's so true. I remember talking with my brother about things that happened to me he never knew about, and telling him that I wouldn't change anything because I wouldn't be where I am today and wouldn't have the wisdom and first hand experience of the awsome power of God. Thanks for sharing.

  11. duh! I forgot to congrats you on finishing your revisions! woohoo! yay!

  12. Good points you made!
    Reminds that God works all things together for good ...
    Thanks for your positive perspective!