Is there such a thing as 'Too much' backstory?

When it comes to planning a story, I personally think that there is no such thing as ‘too much’ backstory, it’s more a case of how much to you have the energy to create before you burn out or start focusing on unnecessary details.
It’s moderation that matters, in a sense. And focus.
However, when it comes to actually showing your backstory in writing, things are a little more complicated. Personally, I feel that you should weave each character’s backstory into their actions and thoughts and words, having them explain them through their actions, rather than just stick a block of text in there. Flashbacks are also pretty cool, but only really in moderation. Maybe one or two in a book, at most, unless your character has a specific reason to be having flashbacks.

  • How much backstory do you put into planning?
  • Is there a way to have too much backstory in planning?
  • How much backstory do you acknowledge in your writing?
  • Is it possible to have too much backstory in writing?

Share your thoughts below @Discussions :]

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as much as needed.

no as long as you’re willing to not set them in stone.

an basis to understand your character then more as you go alone and learn you need it if that makes sense.

no but there’s something as too much revealed already.

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A lot of it. It takes me days or weeks formulating a satisfactory backstory (I am that kind of annoying author which includes bizarre yet reasonable cliffhangers, plot twists and foreshadowing that no one expects :sweat_smile:). But I don’t reveal much of it in writing initially.

I don’t know about that. But if you put a lot of backstory at once (which happens often in Riverdale), the readers might get confused and annoyed. But if you gradually put the backstory in bits (like in GoT books), the readers get the necessary emotional buildup and take interest in the story.

It depends on the author. There is no limit to a character’s backstory.

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When it comes to it being so long that I forget the beginning of it; then it’s too much. It can be really good, I just forget and skim over :cry:

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My RP partner has had a RIDICULOUS amount of stuff happen to one of their main characters. When I say ridiculous, I mean a bunch of BS. torture, r-pe, abuse, murder, oppression, family issues, death, war, you name it. And I’m like “can you chill?”

“But he’s God/the Devil though-“

“Yeah but you’re doing too much-“

“HE’S THE DEVIL AND HE’S BEEN AROUND FOREVER SO OF COURSE ALL THAT WILL HAPPEN NOW DEAL WITH IT.”

“Can you chill?? CAN YOU RELAX ON THE TRAUMA, DUDE?! We get it! He’s the Devil and he’s been through a lot! Why do you keep adding more and more about his backstory, the guy has been developed enough! Can we please focus on other characters??”

doesn’t listen to me

no longer enjoys interacting with that character

Sorry for the rant. I just hate this so much and I have no idea how to tell them without them getting upset and making me think “ah well, they’re right. Of course.”

Help a sister out

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im confused

the topic is ab amount of backstory, not amount of trauma within backstory.
Also is this your character or someone else’s?

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Yeah, but they put A LOT of traumatic and triggering things within that character’s backstory, that’s what’s upsetting me. And they still are adding s–t.

Someone else’s.

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I advise talking to them, and asking that they add trigger warnings
if they refuse to add trigger warnings I’m pretty sure you can flag the post(s)

if u need any more advise with this pm me, as we are currently off topic

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Of course!

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