How much and how to? I’ve read that back story is needed and also that it should be avoided like travel to Syria. Science fiction has whole worlds to invent and romance, well, there’s all that bad boy and good girl stuff that leads up to the clinching and groping.
Characters simply don’t pop onto the page and become part of the story. At least they shouldn’t. Who the characters are and why they act and react as they do pushes the plot forward dragging the reader along, willingly, the author hopes.
Our hero has a past. His story is part of how he runs his squad of state troopers, part of how they function and part of how all the distractions of life play into the double murder investigation that looks like it’s going nowhere. Corporal Sam Deland has to get this case under control and find the shooters before more bodies turn up.
Part of the back story that makes Sam who he is. From my soon to be released crime/detective/mystery/suspense novel, SINK RATE:
Lt.(jg) Sam Deland was inbound from a navigation training exercise in the Mediterranean Sea. The run had been smooth and the right seater in the EA-6B was sightseeing out the window as they ate away the distance to the carrier when the radio call for Sam to “report to the CAG” came through.
Lt. Billy “Ramrod” Reager looked over at Sam and punched the intercom, “What the hell did you do now, asshole?” Reager knew lowly jg’s don’t hob knob with Commander, Air Group three stripers unless serious good or bad shit is about to happen.
It took all of Sam’s concentration to land the EA-6B even though it was a beautiful clear day with calm seas. He kept trying to think of all the dumb things he’d done and what it could be that he finally got caught doing. The electronic warfare jet pitched and rocked as he rolled into the groove on final. He forced himself to breathe and set up for hitting that small area of wires at the rear of the deck. Somehow it all came together, his considerable pilot skills took over and he nailed the second wire as he plunged onto the deck.
Sam pushed the throttles to full power at about the moment he felt the hook take hold on the wire. The yellow shirt forward and just starboard of him signaled to Sam that he was safely hooked and Sam cut the engines and taxied to the elevator area. Before he could get all the way turned onto the elevator he spotted his group executive officer moving quickly toward him with his plane captain.
Reager whispered into the intercom, as if anyone else could hear him, “XO’s on deck and heading this way Sam. We must be in deep shit.”
“As long as no marines with guns are with him I think we can weather whatever it is,” laughed Sam, “Let me do the talking, you plan an escape route to Malta.” Sam and Billy were setting switches and getting the EA-6B ready for the elevator as the XO, Lt. Commander John “Padlock” Simpson, climbed up to the cockpit.