fantasy · General · Short Story · work in progress · Writing

On Info Dumps and Exposition

If I had a red pen, I would sooo mark up my third scene. Word’s red highlighter will have to do. It is nothing but a huge info dump. It is the dragon short story. I need to explain the magic, right? That’s hard because I don’t understand the magic myself and by the time I gained some small amount of understanding, I had 300 hundred words of explanation.  I am thinking that’s too much, particularly in a short story (my second scene was shorter!!!). Most of what I wrote needs to go.

Oh, I wasn’t as obvious as I could have been – I had my MC (who is still nameless!!) moving around and considering what she needed to do. But it is still obvious and a little bit gratuitous too. I mean, she doesn’t really need to move from here to there. I want her to just get down to it without too much explanation. Which I need to find a way to distribute that info more evenly and more naturally, too. But how do I do that? I don’t want to create a whole new scene just for exposition. I also don’t want to slow down the other two scene by adding too much stuff.

So I am not sure what to do. I am thinking what I need to do is to figure out what is most important and insert a couple of sentences into the other two scenes. But what about the other stuff? I don’t know and I will have to figure it out. What are some really good ways to do exposition?

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2 thoughts on “On Info Dumps and Exposition

  1. My advice: skip trying to explain the magic and have her USE it to show us. If it doesn’t come across clear, a beta reader will pick up on it and ask you questions to clarify. Then use that to make it clearer in your MS, too.

    Magic is soooooo hard! I have magic in my MS, too, and while I start right away with my MC using it, I still haven’t explained at all HOW it works. It definitely isn’t normal magic. I’m just hoping as I keep going, the mechanics of it will become apparent. If not, I’ll have to slip in some explanation here and there 🙂

    1. I am not sure any magic is normal!! LOL

      just skip the explantions and hope it’s clear enough from context? I will try that – hope it works!

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