How much back-story and world history should you describe in the beginning? The world is a fairly busy place in this story, with much potential for a back-story. How much character/world back-story should I give at the start, or how much should I provide over the course of the novel? The novel I am working on is post apocalyptic, and begins where two of the MC's back-stories is that they escaped from a cultic dystopian state. One of them was an unwilling Concubine of a ranking officer captured via conquest as a slave.