When you roleplay, Are the major events in your past or in your present?


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I was going over my character list for random reasons, and I realized that my favorite characters to play are "Normal" average people that've never had major upheavals in their life, yet are now in the "present" getting thrown in to them. Other characters that already have a long history prior to the start of the roleplay never seem as fun, because I don't get to play out those big moments.

So, I started wondering, how does everyone ELSE like to start off in a roleplay!

Do you begin a roleplay with an in depth history filled with major dramatic events that you must get past?

OR do you begin roleplays with minimal history, having all major events happening in the "present" and near future?
I like my characters to develop during the story. That's why a lot of the times, the history or personality of my characters are super short.

I feel as if I don't really know what my characters are going to be like, until I see them interacting with others. It's like seeing them come to life, for me. ^_^
Although, I don't play much anymore, I used to place major events in the past and have my characters work through any resulting issues while progressing through the current storyline. However, my later characters began to evolve more realistically by living a relatively normal life and being thrust into a major event, conflict or whatever. I feel, this latter approach is more dynamic in character development.
My characters usually have one or two major events in their past, but plenty of room for growth. I do, however, tend to invent a detailed history for "my" portion of whatever world we're playing in.
It depends. I prefer to have some major events take place during the RP myself. But I have personal major events happen in the character's past, they serve to give the character motivation for what they're doing, but I don't totally had a huge back-story, just like a few major events that send a character down a different path in life than they originally intended or wanted. They experience more events in the RP and develop, cope and grow in it.

But if I had to really choose, I lean towards major events happening in the RP itself. Just makes it more interesting that way.