Writing stories

Plotting a Backstory: Solving a Problem

Problems. Problems. Problems. All stories deal with problems and how to solve them. The best stories go from problem to problem until the original problem is solved. These are the Archie comics type stories. What happens when Archie invites Veronica to the prom and Betty finds out?

This is kind of an all purpose unit. The set-up like all the units is a series of visuals depicting the backstory. Writers have to know everything both inside and outside of the story. As artists, that means drawing the backstory.

  1. Draw the main character. Outline his personality. Draw some friends. Draw some enemies.
  2. What problem confronts the main character? Draw that. Why is it so important? (Does it affect a Friendship? Love? A test of some sort?)
  3. What started the problem? Who is involved? Why is the problem important? What happens if the problem ISN’T solved? The writer has to know EVERYTHING, even if the characters don’t. Answer these questions by DRAWING THE ANSWER.
  4. Look at what you’ve drawn and draw some possible solutions to the problem. Draw some complications if the problem isn’t solved.
  5. Finally, draw a map showing the steps to solving the problem. Think of obstacles that might stop your character. Think of the end and how he problem is solved.

I put together some worksheets, emphasizing the visuals. These stories are supposed to be drawn, rather than actually written. They aren’t the best, but they provide some insight on how to proceed, I think.

The essential beginning of plotting the backstory visually
All about the complicaations…
A story map to problem solving