Tuesday, July 27, 2010

We interrupt the regularly scheduled lesson for a Barnyard Backstory moment. These moments are created by my friends, and meant to explain, with visual images, why backstory just ain't pretty.

"Peanut" will be your narrator. Say "hello" to Peanut!

Howdy, folks! Me and my buds are going to illustrate, as best as we know how, why that Backstory stuff ain't such a good idea.

First of all, backstory is about the hero's or heroine's (the protagonist's) journey. For the sake of this here lesson, the hero will be me. Ain't I handsome?

Now stick with me a moment while I get my helpers rounded up. Pamphyllius and Theophylus got purty names, but they're not the brightest steers. "Dumb Swiss" is what I heard the farmer call them. Me, I'm a Jersey, and that's purty smart in cow language.

Well, it looks like the dudes are getting into position, Theo on the left and Pamphyllius. . . well now, Pam just struck a beautiful pose. This exactly illustrates Back(side)story. Take a look at that, folks! The picture says it all. Backstory might as well be the backside of a cow. Any cow. No matter how you turn it, it ain't pretty.


Now, what me and the boys are going to do here is show you how to use Backstory correctly. In one easy, visual.

Almost there.

And this is it, folks. Barnyard Backstory 101 at a glimpse. I represent the protagonist. You should see him (or her) up close and personal in that first chapter. Theo is in the middle and represents what is found out about the protagonist, not his Backstory, mind you, but little tidbits of his personality that shine through his interactions with other characters that only hint at his backstory. And Pam, there, he's the third layer and represents backstory. It's what you see the least of in this picture, and what the reader should see the least of in the book. Wasn't that fun? If it's alright with you, I'm gonna go back to eating. I'm hungry. Again. And no eating-like-a-cow-jokes either. You hear me?

Thank you, Peanut, Pam, and Theo, for illustrating Backside Story-er, Backstory. Pam, I'm sure my readers will remember that visual for a long time to come.

S. Dionne Moore is a slightly insane wife, mother, and writer. Okay, maybe more than slightly insane. I mean, who would think of using cows to illustrate Backstory? She is the author of six books, three zany cozy mysteries, of which one, Polly Dent Loses Grip, was just named a finalist in ACFW's Carol Awards. Her first historical romance, Promise of Tomorrow, released this month. Visit her at www.sdionnemoore.com. No cows are invited.

If you've read down this far and would like to be entered for a free copy of Polly Dent Loses Grip, leave a comment. Or cow humor. Whichever. :)


  1. (laughing) Great illustration, Sandra. I will, however, forever think of it as back(side)story from this point forward. LOL!

  2. Perhaps I should offer a free copy of Polly Dent Loses Grip to anyone who suffers through this post.

  3. This post is to funny!!

    I'd love to win a copy of this book and have decided to add some cow humor!

    Q: What did the momma cow say to the baby cow?
    A: It's pasture bedtime!



  4. Absolutely the best illustration of backstory I've ever seen! Hilarious. :)

  5. Great Sandra! Som from now on if I critique something of yours and find a slip up, you will know what I mean when my comment says 'watch your backside!'

  6. Sure I will, Chandra. Though I do try to forget it most times. Good thing it's *behind* me. LOL! I kill me.

  7. Vicki! Vicki! Vicki! That's absolutely hysteerical. *And the great hook comes out to yank me off stage*

  8. Thanks, Barbara! I'm sure glad you found it enjoyable. Peanut sends a MOO your way.

  9. I confess I find that this hits home a bit--I'm still "on the fence" so to speak when it comes to backstory. ;) But I agree that this is a great and fun illustration!

    As for cow humor, I love those California cow commercials! (Have you seen those?) "Happy cows come from California!" Like the commercial where the cows seen one itty-bitty cloud in the sky and one cow yells "CLOUD!" Then everyone goes running, begging for mercy. In the end, one cow says, "I hate the rainy season." Of course, I don't think those cows are from my neck of the woods in NORTHERN California by the coast. ;)

    Thanks for a chance to win your book!



  10. OK, I think I have finished rolling on the floor laughing now and, yes, I will remember this demonstration for a long time! Thanks for the laugh and the lesson!

    Would love the read/win Polly Dent Loses Grip.


  11. Either I'm tired or Vicki's joke was downright hysterical...LOLOL! Either way, thanks for the chuckle.

    And since I'm being silly, I thought I'd share a cow joke, too:

    What kind of milk comes from a forgetful cow?
    Milk of Amnesia

    Want another?

    What do call a cow that has just had a calf?

    Sandra, do you see what you've started? Do you? I'm going to bed. :-)


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