The Info-dump

I’ve officially laid to rest my first novel. It’s tough to do but the reality is that it’s a first try, and it’s filled with first time mistakes. One of which is the info-dump. I just read a book on writing science fiction, and the first chapter was devoted to how first time writers are too liberal with dumping information. The author provided a few examples, which got me to think about my own work.

I learned that backstory, world-building, etc. needs to be stretched out over the length of the novel. One just can’t simply dedicate a chapter to explain everything that happened to a character, backstory, or whatever. That’s what yours truly did. Moreover, every time I introduced a character, I provided a lengthy description of what they looked like, where they were they were from, how they got to where they were… Looking back it was just too much information to digest, and I get it now.

My last post was about the Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. McCarthy was discrete on information about the characters and the world they lived. What he did, which is what I strive for going forward, is to use things like dialogue and setting to release information. It’s a smarter, more economical way of informing the reader.

I’m disappointed I didn’t get my first novel published. I’ve already made up my mind to start another. What I learned from my first will only help the second time around.

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