Writing, like sculpture

Don’t be afraid to overwrite your drafts. Revision and editing will sculpt the story into a publishable form. The better you understand your characters and their story, the better your book will be. Know that backstory but feed it sparingly through the story. Understand what happened to make your characters the people they are when your story starts. Know why their mother and father fought and why their grandparents died.

Just as the iceberg you see is merely the tip of a very large underwater berg, the published book is often just like it. The reader has only the book before her, yet it will be obvious that you know it all. Those 800 invisible pages are there.