I have for some time been writing a more extensive backstory for one of the characters in The Wizard of Suomen, partly because I like the character and partly because it helps to flesh out some things about several characters and the world itself that I’m not sure will fit well into the main story. Snippets of this backstory will be in the main story at a certain point as flashbacks, but there will definitely be a lot more than that, and I am planning on posting the whole thing at some point after the main story is finished. Working on part of it tonight, I wrote almost 2000 words in just an hour, none of which will show up in the main story at all, so it seems that my muses are definitely interested. 🙂 (I’m using this backstory as a way to make sure I have a really good grasp of the character in question, since in the main story I’m working on a section where this character’s motivations and actions are central, and I want to be sure they fit and make sense. Hence, I’m writing some things that won’t be posted until I put up this backstory as a whole after the main story.)
This is definitely another balancing area for a writer (something I have noticed as a reader of fiction), the issue of what to include to make a new world intelligible and interesting for readers, without overwhelming them with facts that they won’t remember and don’t need to care about. I hope I’m striking that balance so far, introducing new information as it’s needed, but not so much at a time that it’s overwhelming or hard to remember. This is another reason that I wanted to have a website, actually; in addition to posting and getting feedback on the story itself, this website will give me a place to eventually post this backstory, plus other notes and background information that I have made as I do world-building, but that might not fit neatly into the story itself. Hopefully some readers will enjoy those things as well!