Writer – Your story’s history

During one of my writing reference readings – What if… – I came across the following:

  • Opening starts your story hopefully in the middle of the story, something has already happened.
  • Your story has a history. It’s already happened and what you’re telling is writing its past.

Pretty straight forward, even if a tad confusing. It hit me like a brick. The story, no matter the genre, has an unseen, unwritten history to everything within what we retell…what we’re writing.

Referring to the history we don’t even recognize or know, not the backstory we include or use as reference to the retelling, but the prequel. And, yes, to the prequel of any prequel we decide to write.

As far as my knowledge goes, nothing can survive in a vacuum; therefore neither does anything we create. We’ve grasped onto this particular/our way of sharing it, of creating it for others to read, see, experience.

Consider it this way…we all (I’m being daring by assuming) know the name Mary. However, say this name to anyone and both of you are not sure if you mean the same Mary or not until more information is shared or originally expanded in meaning. Give that same name to any writer and no one will tell the same story. So, shouldn’t that then prove each story has its own history and we’re, the writers, are relaying a certain part of it.

Are you, have you ever been, aware of these histories?