Monday, March 21, 2011

What's on the Page?

What's relevant to the story and what is info dump or fluff.

One of the most important things a writer can do is learn to not love every word they write. it's one thing to show the scene or describe a character but do it with well chosen words and not more than a paragraph. A not a page long paragraph. Most readers now a days want instant gratification and that means showing them the scene or person in descriptive words and not bogging down the pacing of the story with a long flowing description.

And the second-if your story is set in a different world or there is historical information that is crucial to the story, pick out the key information needed for the characters in the story and the reader to get the gist. Then inject that information in snippets of internal thought and dialog. Don't use paragraphs full of information that slows the pacing and quite possibly puts the reader to sleep.

You, the writer, might be excited about the world you've created the information you want to divulge tot he reader but don't do it as an info dump. That kind of information should never be more than a couple sentences long at a time to keep the pacing flowing in the story.


Lauri said...

Wonderful post. I'm reading a book right now that I find myself skipping full paragraphs because of info dumps. I'm dedicated to finishing the book because I really like the main character-it's the info on secondary characters that I really don't care about or need.

Paty Jager said...

Lauri, I had a book that was similar. I liked the H/H but there was too much other stuff I skipped to get to the end. Most of the time if the characters haven't grabbed me I'll put the book aside and not finish it. There are too many I want to read to waste my time reading a boring one.