I am currently writing the second book in my fantasy series that I plan on publishing, and I have asked a similar question like this before concerning a different character. I couldn’t take answers from the question I asked earlier though, because even though the questions are similar the situation is very different.
I have an MC named Willow, who is a forest elf and the only MC who isn’t human. Just by being an elf and living in my fantasy world would be enough for a backstory, but I decided she should have more than that. In the third chapter of the first book, her and the main MC are having a conversation. Since Willow is an elf my MC wants to know if she has a last name. Willow asked what a last name was; and my MC told her it was a family name. Willow said plainly:
”My family is dead.”
And doesn’t talk about it for the rest of the first book. Even though tragic, in my fantasy world this is considered normal. Most people are killed before they reach thirty, or in elves cases, two hundred and seventy because elves age nine times slower than humans and other creatures, about the rate of Yoda’s species in Star Wars.
So yes, this makes Willow one hundred and seventy, about a hundred and fifty years older than all my other MCs. Her age is important because it affects her reaction to her family’s death, which happened about a hundred and thirty years earlier, when she was only four years old in looks and intelligence.
Since she has had so much time to deal with it, it doesn’t really play a big part in the rest of the book. In the second book, however, the antagonist, Renadalm, knows my characters greatest fears, regrets, secrets, ect. He re-shows Willow the day her entire family (an older brother, two baby sisters, father, and mother.) were murdered. This causes Willow to step out of her strong confident character for a few minutes and break down in tears. This was not shown in the first book, but it was known.
Should I have added this scene, or at least have Willow talk about it, in the first book? Or is it good where it is? I have not published the first book yet so I decided to ask before it was too late to change.