Problem #10: Backstory Blunders
The past is prologue, for sure, but you can tell too much too soon dragging your plot down, if everything about the characters’ past is explained right upfront in Chapter One.
There’s a trend recently that calls for opening each scene “in media res”— with some kind of clever line (the “hook”), or sudden action or a line of dialogue.
This can be effective in drawing the reader in, but keeping her in requires more than clever lines. It requires a paragraph or two that anchors the scene in some specific place, time, and situation.