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Forums » Smalltalk » Why are backstory's so hard?

Either I'm thinking to hard or I'm not thinking hard enough.

So here's the deal, I'm trying to write a back story and personality for my character, but I have no idea how to execute the task. I want to write a simple and straight forward backstory because it's easier to make a more complex character when you start them off as a flat pancake. (In my opinion)

So I got to two paragraphs and just stopped.

Here's what I got

Charlotte Evergrande was born on the island of Evermeet and raised secretly in The Faremadows away from elven civilization. The reason for her secrecy was because of her parent’s relationship; her father was an elf while her mother was a human. Charlotte’s parents met when her father discovered her mother’s unconscious body washed up on the beach near his home. He nursed her back to health and despite her father knowing relationships with outsiders was greatly frowned upon, developed a relationship with her mother.

Growing up in the The Faremeadows, Charlotte only had her parents and the meadow’s sylvan creatures to keep her company. Her parents did their best to live off the land so they didn’t have to risk having their family revealed. As much as Charlotte wanted to explore the meadows, groves and streams, she was forbidden to leave the family home. Charlotte’s father tried to keep her occupied by giving her music lessons from his earlier days of being a bard.

I have an explanation for my who, what, when, where and how, but I don't know how to get those ideas on paper.

Writing is hard.

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Yep, creativity is such a fickle thing. Our muse is such a temptress! Like, we would get inspired to write and our fingers just itching to create something... but then we have ourselves in front of the keyboard and we always get stuck. Whenever I write my RPs I sped so much time trying to come up with words to describe what I have in mind.

I think just forcing out words won’t cut it. You’ll definitely get stuck. Have you had moments when you’re so inspired that your fingrs almost can’t keep up? I remember being so filled with ideas and the scenes playing like a movie in my head, my writing partner was so surprised when I churned out like almost a novella-length reply!

So I guess you just have to inspire yourself, maybe jump across several Pinterest boards, Google some images, or watch some animation short videos on Youtube. Your muse will come and help you.
A wise person once told me *cough*Kruhee*cough* that you dont need to have a super long complex backstory. sometimes simple is good. go with the basics up until this point. It doesn't need to be filled with trauma or drama.. that can all be left to RP!

Generally I aim for important information that shaped your character young. for an example, one of my characters lost his parents to a supernatural incident and grew up in an orphanage. He had a supernatural experience, turned to religion.. and because of his experience.. he was selected to become a supernatural hunter.

The rest is what happens now in RP. I mean obviously I used more words but I didn't really get into much more then that.. because honestly having bits of backstory revealed in RP over time is better! sometimes I don't even know my characters backstory until they are sharing a beer with someone in RP and chat about it.. then thats when it all comes pouring out.
Sometimes I struggle with putting backstories down in writing too! I know the basics of what happened and how it shaped my character, but sometimes explaining the story is hard to get out in a coherent piece of writing!

Most of the time, I feel like the backstory can be added to a public profile later on because it's not something someone would know immediately when games are started with them. And if it needs to be said in game, you kind of sort of already have a basic outline in your head and it can be fleshed out then.

Also, ditto what Mipps said! :D Kruhee is wise.
Backstories seem easy to me but that's because I 'specialize' in complexity and trauama/drama. But sometimes (like I've been doing lately) is make a basic background and let the rest happen through roleplay. Sometimes in roleplay it gives you ideas for things that could happen in the past.

Example: Simple girl. Happy, friendly. Decent life. She went on vacations, had friends, etc. A recent roleplay gave me an idea to have seen one of her boyfriends murdered which gives her a gun phobia. That's still simple but it makes her a bit more interesting.

It's fun to do it that way, I think.

I'm good at coming up with something on the fly, but I'm never fully detailed. I like to give a general synopsis and leave most of it vague so I can mold a character to different situations with ease.

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