Behold, the info dump.
The backstory by definition: events that happened prior to the start of the plot, essentially the history, the characters past. You know...once upon a time in a land far, far away...
Newbies tend to want to start with a ton of backstory about their protagonist thinking that a big info dump is necessary for the reader in order to understand everything. But what is important to understand is that readers are smart. And they don't need all that info in order to get the jist of things. And besides, one of the most important rules of writing is SHOW don't TELL. Telling doesn't hook a reader like showing does.
The backstory does have its place, but it should be fed to the reader bits at a time. What's great about doing it this way and only giving away a little information at a time is that it makes the reader curious and leaves them wanting more. And that is EXACTLY what you want!
For some terrific information about the right way to go about it, I have included some helpful links below:
How to Write the Backstory
How to Include Backstory
Writing the Backstory
Novel Writing: The Backstory
For more articles visit my blog at: http://unearththeclues.blogspot.com/