59

Since the subject matter on which the character is an expert is specific to the world that you created and not related to any real world knowledge or faith, you already know everything there is to know on the subject. The problem is, there is not yet a lot to know because you haven't invented it yet. You need to make some decisions about how resurrection ...


46

Some people will believe they know how things work, even if they don't If you were to ask a highly educated person 2,000 years ago why things fall down, they'd have an answer. (It just wouldn't be a correct answer.) If you asked them what light is, they'd have an answer. Their answer wouldn't have anything to do with particle/wave thingies which (probably)...


39

It sounds very gimmicky, to be honest. I think you should think of more different ways in which her lower education would show, and switch it up a bit. Etiquette comes to mind, not being able to read, not being able to swim, being able to practical things of a commoner... As a joke, it can work quite well if done right. For example having her ask "Who's ...


23

Nerdy gobbledygook isn't actually nerdy gobbledygook - they're actually saying things using technical words, acronyms, and abbreviations. It's very similar to medical speech in that way. You'll only sound like a tryhard if you're sticking pseudo technical made up words in that don't actually mean or say anything. The first step is to figure out what ...


22

My answer is fundamentally similar to JonStonecash's, but comes at it from a different angle. You mentioned the following: the narrative intent behind this is to lower the reader's guard by making them laugh at how silly this is, only for them to stop and be forced to reconsider when the consequences of this “silly” magic system result in mass loss of human ...


18

As you may know, Thomas, there was a question quite similar to yours put by KeithS a little while ago: Avoiding the "as you know" trope in exposition. There were several answers including mine which boiled down to the desperate need to introduce more drama into the explanation or we're all gonna die! The drama could be in the form of character conflict ("...


16

I'm not sure if I am interpreting this correctly, but I would not "mix" character questions with explanatory exposition (or answers in exposition), and I wouldn't make characters too "ignorant," that sounds too "convenient." A difficult aspect of world-building is to use it and NOT write about it. Sure, I laid out my world, with twenty cities focused on ...


16

It seems more like a running gag, than a character trait or infodump. Running gags have comedic "rules" and structure, so it becomes less about texture and more about timing. That doesn't mean you are going for a big laugh, but you are establishing a pattern for the reader and then deciding when to invoke it, and later when to break it. The gag is not so ...


16

The most important question is, why does it matter what the details of the magic system are? It may be important for you as the writer to know, but does it matter to the characters or the plot? For example, does the behavior of the protagonist change (or can be explained) because said protagonist has deep knowledge of the magic system. Think carefully before ...


16

Other answers have already given you good reasons why it might be a good idea to not spell out the exact details of your magic system. However, if you still want to share some background on how the magic works in your story and the only thing preventing you from doing so is that the cast doesn't know, you could do it outside of the story. A common way to do ...


15

There are a few things you can do: Consider if it is absolutely necessary - if not omit it. Spread the information out, intersperse it amongst the narrative as much as possible. Use action - instead of a lecture, have your character figure it out for themselves or through discussion with other characters.


13

Mystery readers strongly expect the mystery to be resolved. If the mystery isn't the focus of the story, you can avoid rousing (and dashing) mystery readers' expectations of resolution by marketing it as something other than a mystery.


13

In reality, a new apprentice is not given a big infodump either, because they would be unable to retain most of it. Since this is an army, they will have regulations on which information to present, in what order, and how to verify it has been understood before letting the new enlist even near anything that is more complicated to operate than a light switch. ...


13

Those who build worlds inevitably want to show off their skills. The trick is not to be boring. One approach that I have tried to use is as follows: Work out the details of the world building. Write it up separately. Write a bare-bones story that depends upon that world building but does not include any of the world building. For each action and interaction,...


12

The thing that is often unnatural about giving exposition in dialogue is that both people having the dialogue should already be aware of what is being said. To solve that problem, you can either introduce a character who would reasonably not be aware of the situation, or you can tell that exposition instead of bringing it up in dialogue. Telling in this case ...


11

If space travel is as common and casual as current methods, then treat it the way you would treat current methods. That is: Take it for granted. Ignore the physics and ignore how it is operated. When you get in a car to drive, you barely even think about how you operate it, much less the physics of internal combustion engines, or the mechanics of universal ...


11

One way to utilize an unsolved mystery in a non-mystery genre story, is to give each of your main characters a conflicting theory of "who done it". Then let their investigations overlap in ways that challenge and later prove the strength of their friendship, antipathy or love. In such a scenario, the original mystery can remain unsolved as long as each of ...


11

A story should finish what it starts. You control what, exactly, you choose to start. If you're not going to be finishing a murder mystery with a solution, you need to be careful not to set the story up in a way that the story will be unsatisfying without a solution. Let's imagine you've got a mystery you don't want to solve. A few examples: The point is ...


11

I can't stand it when people speech at me rather than giving me the opportunity to have a two way dialogue with them. In the same way, I'm not keen on characters in stories talking without letting the other character(s) have their turn. And, when you think about it, the character's probably aren't keen on it either. Plus - be nice to your characters. Give ...


10

1) Don't worry about it for this draft. Write your entire book. Get it down on paper. Then put in a drawer for a month. Then, when it's finished and you have a little distance, you can go back and see where there's room to insert other scenes and slow events down. You don't want to kill the momentum of your writing by spending so much time fussing over ...


10

One good trick is to choose a point of view characters who is at the low end of technical competence. That way your other characters will talk down to them (and the reader), avoiding technical descriptions which involve numeric and scientific details. A cub reporter, the ship's recreation officer, or a hobbit from a backwards and far-off land... these are ...


10

I'm starting to grok that the narrative that accompanies dialog has a fair amount of internal thought that is not immediately recognized as such. Unspoken reaction, deepening of the story. This means you want to be in your character's head as you're writing. Here's a meaningless example: "Hey let's head to the beach." "Alright. I'll grab my ...


10

I'll say what has been said in my own way: A long block of JUST dialogue is generally an under-imagined scene. The dialogue takes place in a setting, with its own sights, sounds, smells and temperature and humidity and interruptions. If the characters are telling each other things they don't know; they have reactions and private thoughts. Most people are ...


10

Story actions should serve multiple purposes There's limited space in narration to get across what you're trying to say. Sure, you can always make the story longer - and bore or annoy people. (Your stated concern.) You say you originally introduced the explaining big words to illustrate a deficiency in your protagonist's education. That's actually a ...


10

Forget necessary - don't pass up the opportunity for a moment of drama and poignance as you reveal the cracks in your stoic character's facade. Because you have the scriptwriting tag, I'm less concerned about introducing an otherwise foreign POV, so put in just a touch of monologue wherever it might fit: [MC]'s eyes filled with tears. "You deserved ...


9

Describe the effects, particularly where the effects in space without the presence of air resistance/friction differ from the familiar effects in an atmosphere where friction slows things down. Thucydides' answer to your question in Worldbuilding SE gave several possibilities, e.g. "Kinetic energy weapons will go until they run into something." Since your ...


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