Aka: Facebook is a huge time-suck, info dumps are hard to avoid, and other things I learned today…
I’ve been off of Facebook for a while. Most of it stems from getting out of the habit when I was sick, and the rest of it stems from not having time. Well today, I started scrolling through my newsfeed, and I must have entered a time vortex or something because an hour went by without me noticing. (Okay, you caught me. It was probably more than an hour.) I have only one thing to say:
Nasty, stupid little Facebookses with its quizes and silly memeses! We hates it, Precious!
Sigh. An hour of writing I will never get back, and all I got out of it was learning that I am most like Kailey from Firefly, democrats and republicans still hate each other, and cat pictures seem to be more popular than dog pictures.
I have also confirmed that it is impossible to try to write a story when Myth Busters is running a show on whether or not Indiana Jones’ whip can really do all those things.
And… Oh yeah, this just in. It’s really hard to write while on vacation. I’m writing every day, but not like I wanted to.
That all being said, I’m in a difficult part of my story right now. It’s called “the info dump without being an I for dump.” If you aren’t familiar with the terminology, in writing it’s considered bad form to put all of the information about your story/world/backstory into one big huge scene of either prose or boring dialogue. We writers try to scatter our information throughout the story to 1) keep the reader wondering and 2) keep the reader from getting bored.
Info dumps can become a huge problem when writing an urban fantasy where the backstory is everything. I can’t bore the reader with a long drawn out conversation–especially in pulp, but I’ve got to get the information in somehow. Right now, I’m focusing on getting the information written down. Then I can scatter it across the book for smoother reading. I just have to suffer through wincing while reading what I’m writing now and promise myself I will make it wonderful eventually–preferably before April 15…
How about you? How do you solve your info dump problems?
I parcel backstory throughout the tale, if the character is the driver of that backstory then those moments of reflection allow those opportunities. Especially in pulp in situations like a stake-out or other pauses in the action. If the action dictates I will insert a couple of sentences in it to illustrate the past or perhaps the character’s skill or experience as it relates to what is going on.
That actuallly helps. I’ve been told not to have a lot of “down time” in pulp, and that really cuts out a lot of potential places to add in backstory. Probably makes for a better story–especially one that appeals to holkywood. 🙂