Angelica: So the book I’m writing starts with a plane crash.
Corey: What caused it?
Angelica: It doesn’t matter. That’s not part of the story.
Corey: But characters have backstories, so you should have a backstory for the plane crash.
Angelica: Okay, the plane crashed because of mechanical failure, or better yet, pilot error.
Corey: What happened? Was it because the pilot misread the instruments or had a problem navigating?
Angelica: I don’t know.
Corey: Maybe he or she was incapacitated due to an illness. What kind of illness?
Angelica: Forget it. Let’s say instead that it happened because of an act of God.
Corey: Like a lightning strike? That’s not very likely.
Angelica: Okay, how about some problem with the flight crew that caused the cabin to depressurize and the plane to go into a tailspin.
Corey: What was the problem with the flight crew?
Angelica: It doesn’t matter!
Corey: Maybe a member of the flight crew was a hijacker and it was an act of terrorism.
Angelica: Okay, let’s say that’s what happened. Happy?
Corey: But wait! Who was the terrorist? What were his aims and what was his cause?
Angelica: You know what? I think you should put that in your book!