Writer’s Edge: The Backstory

The term, backstory means information about the main character’s background that happened before the opening credits have rolled onto the screen. The trend these days is to present as much information about the protagonist of your story quickly and within the first ten pages of your script. No longer do you spend twenty pages...


Sci-Fi Circuit: Exploring the Problem of Exposition in Sci-Fi

One of the challenges with writing good science fiction is introducing not only the world itself, but any story background needed to set the stage for what’s to come. In my recent interview with Amazon Studios-optioned Adam Pachter, he mentioned his pet peeve about screenwriters using voiceover to get away with exposition that might...

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Column D: Did He Go to the Prom? How Much Backstory is Too Much?

By Drew Yanno I wrote in my last column about screenwriting’s dirtiest word – exposition.  In this one, I’d like to talk about another element of screenwriting that’s often confused with exposition and that’s backstory. Remember what I wrote last time: exposition is information that the audience needs to know in order to fully...