"Ooh, I'll make it a flashback!"
"He can be dreaming... it'll be a recurring dream about his traumatic childhood."
"Two characters who haven't seen each other in years will catch up over coffee."
You know what I mean. I've struggled with backstory in my memoir. The story is about me and Ibis, so it gets a little fuzzy for me where to draw the line. I'm sure there are parts I can drop later in the story - that's one thing I'll be looking at in my next round of edits - and some of it I can just drop.
Mysterious Matters, a mystery writing blog, makes an interesting point about backstory:
...extensive backstory kills any momentum the narrative may have built up, destroying the suspense. Think about it this way: When you meet someone at a cocktail party, don't you run for your life when he starts to tell you his entire life story? You're concerned with the here and now, not with the name of his first-grade teacher. The more you get to know him, the more interested you are in hearing more about him--as long as he has not bored you silly. That's when bits and pieces of the past become more intriguing.
This is an excellent way to look at it. No one's saying the information itself is bad, just that we should rethink how we present it. We don't want to put the reader to sleep in the first ten pages.