Backstory Plot Twists

It is inevitable that every author knows OODLES more about the backstories of their characters than ever makes it on to the printed page.  It seems to vary from author to author whether they actively figure out and detail these backstories before writing.  I myself fall somewhere in the middle.  I don’t need to know how the hero got that scar on his chin when he was ten (unless it is somehow relevant to the current plot), but there are some things that quickly become apparent that I need to figure out as I get going on the first third of any book.

I knew when I started Revelation (that would be the second incarnation with the new hero) that my hero Orrin and heroine Dahlia had a history.  Not a romantic history.  But they were childhood best friends.  Never anything more.  Then there was an Incident of Horrific Social Proportions about five years ago that pretty well destroyed the friendship and prevented either of them from finding out that the other was in love with him/her.   The details of that IHSP are important to the current plot (and I’m still figuring them out).

But what I didn’t expect was that there was a third person who made their group a trio.  Another guy to complete this fae Three Musketeers.  He showed up in Dahlia’s work room on Tuesday and rather than getting any writing done, I’ve been chewing over how he changes the group dynamics, both before the Incident and after.  Turns out, Gareth changes things quite a bit.  He’s in love with Dahlia too–unrequited as it happens.  She’s quite oblivious until this scene I need to write.  And that one fact changes–a lot of stuff.  And it gives me some much needed detail about how the events of this book are going to unfold–all because of what he’s going to do because he realizes she’s still in love with Orrin (despite everything).  Let’s just say he doesn’t take the news well.  And suddenly I have action in that totally blah scene.  Huzzah!

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