It’s that time of the week – Discussion Tuesday.
From those who are new, each week I post a topic (relevant to my WIP) and try to unravel the mysteries and perspectives of it.
Last weeks topic was Profanity in novels, it was an engaging topic and if you missed out you can contribute on the link above.
For now, this week’s topic is:
For those unaware, information dumps (info dumps) are blocks of information that are dumped in narration or dialogue. If done incorrectly, it’s jarring and will result in disinterested readers.
Writers: How do you intertwine information without dumping it?
Readers:Do you lose interest when you discover an info dump?
Through my editing stage, I realized in my first draft there was info dumps everywhere. If the information is necessary, to avoid the dumping I am using conflict to sprinkle the information throughout the scene.
If this is your reader’s primary concern, that means you can hook them emotionally and tell them the information. The readers will be distracted by the conflict and won’t even realize they’re imbibing key factual details that will play an important role later in the story.
How do you dump info?
Post your comments and answers below. If you think someone has an interesting point of view and answer, please invite them or share this post to them.
9 thoughts on “Information dumps”
Info dumps are hard, but I often think authors make it harder for themselves by not considered just what information is necessary. Yeah, you might have a quirky idea for your world, but if it isn’t essential to the plot, it might be better to just drop it rather than dump it. One problem I am seeing quite often these days is too much dumping in dialogue which results in too much dialogue period, overriding the action. This is one of those old writing tips, like show vs. tell, that you should do your worldbuilding in dialogue so it’s more active. But there comes a time when it is better just to say your peace and get on with the story.
It is a difficult task and for new authors they hold dearly onto every bit of information. Simply asking, does the reader need to know this for the plot to move forward? If not, cut it.
I’m glad you brought up dialogue dumps, sometimes you know a dump is coming. If you ask the same question, do the readers need to know? If not, cut it.
Great response! Thank you 😃
I tend to skew the other way – not letting my readers know enough about what is going on, and leaving it rather “mysterious” for them to fill in on their own. That can also backfire if they don’t have enough information to process the actual action in the story. Paradoxically, right now I’m dealing with a couple paragraphs of backstory that are germane to the plot, and can’t figure out a way to let the reader know it without just having my character talk/think about it. It’s a tight-rope walk sometimes.
Thank you for raising that point. Another point for conversations is to leave the mystery and make the reader ask questions, hence turning the page.
Like I said in the post, if it’s important incorporate it into the story. Good Luck with it and I would like to see how it turns out 😊
I’m struggling with this. My novel basically revolves around dialogue, because without that we can’t live the lady’s flashbacks with her! So it’s really difficult not to dump loads of dialogue. Any tips?
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