Monday, June 5, 2017

Info Dumping is Bad for Your Book's Environment

You have figured out the complex worldbuilding for your novel, and you begin to write your story.

Eagerly, you explain the details of your world and its creatures.  Ten pages in, your main characters still haven’t shown up, or they’ve not done anything to move the story along, but your world is detailed and exciting.

You show your work to your critique partner, and she promptly starts yawning.  

The problem?  Info dumping.

Most inexperienced writers dump a bunch of worldbuilding into the first few chapters, and they don't realize that they are writing it for themselves to get everything straight, not for the reader who doesn't need that much to get into the story.  Most of that worldbuilding should be deleted in the first edit.

To show you how little heavy-duty worldbuilding you need to get into a story, read the first chapter of STAR-CROSSED I’ve posted on my website. 

I’ve put the worldbuilding in bold print. 

The short prologue of sorts sets up the hero's situation, the longer next section sets up the heroine and her world and the deep poo the hero and his best friend have fallen into as well as the heroine's goal for the novel.  

I don't go heavily into the plague and how it changed Arden until evil Cadaran explains that deep poo to Kellen a bit later, but the heavy details aren't needed until then.  Even then, I manage to set up the history in a bit of dialogue, not long narrative.

Next week, I’ll talk about those times when you absolutely, positively must do some info dumping and how to do it without boring your audience.

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