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Balancing Backstory

There’s nothing worse than getting cornered at a party with a stranger determined to tell you all about themselves – too much backstory! The same is true with characters on the page. Backstory can notoriously bog down a manuscript, particularly in the opening chapters. But how do you determine how much backstory to provide? And where? Through exercises and excerpts from published books, participants will gain a deeper understanding of how to use backstory effectively, and how to get the most out of what you know about your characters without sacrificing narrative momentum.


  • When: Saturday 29 July 2023, 10am-4pm
  • Where: Online
  • With: Laurel Cohn

About the Tutor

A photo of Laurel Cohn.

Laurel Cohn is passionate about communication and the power of words to engage, inspire and challenge. Since the late 1980s Laurel has been helping writers of all types prepare their work for publication as an assessor, editor, mentor and teacher. Laurel is a regular workshop presenter for peak writing organisations in Australia, and also teaches in Europe. She has a PhD in literary and cultural studies.  

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