I love giving my players the freedom to do whatever they want with their character’s history and experiences. Some things are off limits, of course, such as making your character the current Mayor of Quivarra, but as long as your choices don’t fundamentally alter the way the party plays I usually don’t mind. You can have a much more epic backstory if you’re creating a higher level character, of course, but try not to do it for a Novice hero.
I’ll award your character extra bonuses if your backstory is robust or unique. Your life as a pirate may grant you a starting d6 in Sailing or a +1 on Fighting rolls when using a cutlass. If you’re pressed for creativity or want some help fleshing out your character, I’m all ears. I’m not looking for you to write your character into a novel, I just want to see that you’ve put a decent amount of thought into your character’s history and personality.
In addition to giving character bonuses, I will also add elements from your backstory into the campaign world. Examples of this include the towns of Place’, Ryshbell, and Rekfield, which did not exist until one of my players wrote it into their character’s history. Invent a town that your character is from and give me some good details to work with, and I’ll give it a permanent location on the world map. This extends to organizations as well; if your character worked against some shadowy pick-pocketing club while living in Quivarra, I may sprinkle some of its members into future encounters.