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I’ve been writing for a lot of years. One thing I’ve noticed is a lot of the “rules” that make up good writing works for life as well! That’s what Writerly Wisdom is all about. This week:


One of the rules of writing is to keep the story moving forward. Back story is anything that’s happened to the characters before the story actually starts. Writers love back story. And, in fact, we need to know some of the characters defining moments to understand why the character reacts in a certain way in the present story.

But too much back story bogs things down.

Life is the same way. If we get too focused on our past, we aren’t moving forward. And moving forward is what we should be doing. The interesting this is that whether we’re focusing on the good or bad things in our past, it keeps us from moving forward.

For example:  The star high school quarterback who relieves his glory days over and over isn’t moving forward. He’s stuck in the past instead of living in the future.

Another: The victim in an abusive marriage relieves the horror over and over. And that makes her afraid to get involved with anyone else–ever again.

Neither of those situations are good. Just as a story should keep moving forward, so should we.

What’s stopping you from moving forward?



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