Here is an interesting post on how to handle back-story:

Back-Story: A Plotting Activity, a post written by John Corrigan for the blog Type M for Murder

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Theme—What is it and why do we need it in our novels?

Some writers might argue that theme isn’t an essential attribute of a novel, but I’m not one of them. I’m not suggesting you can’t write a novel without a theme, you can, I just don’t believe it will be as satisfying. A theme is an underlying idea that takes otherwise disparate events and binds them … Continue reading Theme—What is it and why do we need it in our novels?