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Questions tagged [exposition]

This tag should be used for questions about the usage of exposition as a means of highlighting the background information of the world or characters that are being described in the literary work you are currently writing.

3
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4answers
148 views

When should a supporting character be scrapped?

So I'm wondering if this supporting character, who I use for exposition purposes, can be made more vital in some way. When does a supporting character become necessary for the plot? What criteria do ...
0
votes
4answers
98 views

In a first-person web novel, how to make the reader aware of a motivator the POV is unaware of?

In my novel, the MC (and POV character) spares an enemy. He spared the enemy because he empathized/identified himself with them, but he was not aware of it. Later on he will understand his feelings ...
4
votes
3answers
531 views

Am I using too much exposition here? [closed]

Lillia usually arrived to school on her own. The other girls from her hometown got a later train more often than not. She purposefully arrived early to be able to complete homework she had ...
3
votes
2answers
110 views

Exposition: Talking Animals - How do I Reveal This to the Reader?

I'm writing a book series where most of the cast are highly anthropomorphized animals (or in some cases mythological creatures). Humans still exist in this universe, but are rare (only being found in ...
18
votes
9answers
8k views

Writing a character who is an expert in something that I can't know

I'm writing a story where the main character comes back from the dead. The character is fully lucid, knowledgeable and articulate about what has happened. I want to depict the character as an expert, ...
8
votes
7answers
845 views

Breaking up a talky piece of writing

Dialogue is my favorite thing to write. I tend to use a lot of dialogue in my writing, which sometimes results in long, talky passages -- a bit similar to this question about breaking up exposition. ...
8
votes
5answers
603 views

Using questions in dialog to facilitate exposition

What are the guidelines on using questions in dialog (between ignorant characters) to expose setting and backstory? A few exchanges between my characters seem to fall flat. I'm trying to sort out ...
6
votes
3answers
299 views

Is excerpts from an in-universe book, presented between chapters, a good way of handling exposition?

A book that I'm currently writing called Surge features an enemy faction called the Degenerates that are heavily inspired by the Scythians (Indo-Iranian horse nomads that ruled the Eurasian Steppe and ...
6
votes
5answers
226 views

Inside your character's head - when does it become too much?

I've read that leaving your character alone for too long can spell death for your novel. That you should put them out there in the world so they can interact with other characters. That you shouldn't ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

How to fill up novels in the series after the first one?

I have an idea for a novel series that I want to write. I'm into the first one, and I've got a pretty good idea of all that I want to happen in it. I also have some ideas as to events that I want to ...
10
votes
7answers
677 views

Should mystery stories have resolutions?

I'm working on the finishing touches of a story that has as part of the plot a possibly-supernatural mystery. I'm feeling rather nervous about the whole thing though because said mystery isn't the ...
1
vote
3answers
144 views

How to expose a reader to the rules of a fantastical world? [duplicate]

I am currently in the process of re-writing my play Black Tape as a novel. Because of the change in format, more needs to simply happen - which I am entirely okay with. Main feature of the universe in ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I describe technology while avoiding problems with scaling?

Worldbuilding chat has pointed me to this stack because it's less about defining the technology and more about how to express these definitions in a relatable and realistic way. A pretty frequent ...
5
votes
8answers
301 views

How do I decide whether to answer questions, or leave them unexplained?

At first glance, the question may be subjective, but let me provide a specific example: A story I'm self-editing takes place in a present-day small Virginia town. At present, the town is being ...
5
votes
4answers
426 views

When to start a story?

I've just recently finished building the setting and plot of a fantasy coming of age story. I'm happy with the way it turned out; the character arcs feel compelling and the setting supports the plot ...
2
votes
5answers
193 views

How much detail should I go into for a character taking advantage of physics expertise?

Let's imagine a book where my character holds the power of light. Reason being, everyone in his country is born with telekinesis. He however, is the only one with enough grasp of the (maybe a little ...
2
votes
3answers
228 views

My premise suggests a LOT more history than I want in my book

I'm writing a fantasy story in which there is a contemporary earth (our earth) and a secondary world. Due to certain reasons all earthlings who are able to reach the second world have great magical ...
3
votes
3answers
163 views

How do I describe Newtonian physics to the reader in a way that is realistic yet not too complex?

I have a story where I adhere strongly to plausible physics for space combat (some behind-the-scenes development for the story: How to Conduct Plausible Space Combat Intercepts and Tactical Options ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

My Main Characters Expostion Peaks at a Point, but How? [closed]

My book starts at the end of my main characters research on a topic. And I wanted to give a feeling of him being neck deep in research. I thought of those stereotypical moments on tv shows where a ...
9
votes
9answers
4k views

How do I write about nerdy concepts without sounding like a tryhard?

How would one express nerdy gobbledygook without sounding like a technical tryhard? For instance, if I were to explain the backstory of something and it perhaps contained the word electromagnetic or ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

How to avoid the 'magic explanation' info dump in Fantasy novels

In the second book of his Inheritence Cycle, Christopher Paolini makes the grievous error of landing his main character in the middle of a serene woodland where he must sit and talk with an old elf ...
6
votes
1answer
672 views

My story moves too fast

I finally sat down and wrote the first chapter of my planned novel. Reading back through it, I realized that there is so much that happens in only 2000 words. People die, the protagonist is captured, ...
4
votes
5answers
267 views

Dealing with Extreme Distances - Space Travel

I know, you can go the Star Wars/Star Trek "hand wave" route and make it seem like everything is a few minutes or hours away, but... How do I implement a scenario where space travel is as common and ...
12
votes
1answer
724 views

How to show that something is different than in real life?

I'm writing fiction set in the near future (~15-20 years). The world is still mostly the same and thus familiar to the reader, but an important part of the story is that a few things are radically ...
9
votes
5answers
665 views

How should I introduce new and complex technologies or tools?

I'm writing a Science Fiction book. While this book doesn't push reality very far, there are some new technologies and tools that I have added. One tool is used more frequently than all the others, ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

Too much exposition in my full-length play: how to fix it?

Dear Writers & Playwrights; I'm working on my first full-length play. In workshops, the feedback is consistently, "Too much exposition." I agree with the criticism. What I'm struggling with is . ...
7
votes
5answers
851 views

How Much Exposition is Too Much Exposition

I am in the process of figuring out how to write a mostly autobiographical piece (maybe, eventually, novel) about my experiences related to dancing (Swing, Blues, and a little Hip-Hop, in case you ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I avoid a “mid-story info dump?”

I am revising the manuscript for a novel. About a third into the story, a major turning point occurs when the main character (through whom the reader follows the story) realizes that things are not at ...
10
votes
1answer
168 views

Expositing a lack of racial difference

I have a story set in a fantasy-Africa, in which the protagonist must make her way from her rural home to a coastal city in order to seek medical treatment that will save her life. One beta reader for ...