“What is the purpose of this scene?” That is the most important question an author can ask while editing. Why is the scene there? Does it add any value to the work as a whole?
Rambling and getting too involved in things that seem fun but have no purpose to the story are good signs that the scene needs to be cut or given more importance.
In this last writing session, I had to take a good hard look at chapter 4 of my urban fantasy pulp novella. Basically it is 5000 words of indie dump. The information delivered is important but it presents a few problems:
- It slows the story down
- It doesn’t show character development.
- It tells instead of shows
- Chapter 4 is supposed to be the the hook.
So not only do I have an info dump problem with a scene that goes nowhere, but I so have to deal with keeping my story structure tight.
I solved the problem by dividing the dialogue across 3 chapters and adding a little cliffhanger at the end of chapter 4.
How about you? How have you solved your info dump issues?
About M. B. Weston
M. B. Weston is an award-winning fantasy, pulp, young adult, steampunk, and paranormal author. Her attention to procedure and detail gives her works an authentic gritty, military feel that takes an adventure tale to the level of a true page-turner.
Weston’s writing attracts both fantasy and non-fantasy readers, and her audience ranges from upper-elementary students to adults. A gifted orator, Weston has been invited as a guest speaker to numerous writing and science fiction/fantasy panels at conventions across the US, including DragonCon, BabelCon, NecronomiCon, and Alabama Phoenix Festival. She has served on panels with such authors as Sherrilyn Kenyon, J. F. Lewis, Todd McCaffrey, and Jonathan Maberry. Weston has spoken to thousands of students and adults about the craft of writing and has been invited as the keynote speaker at youth camps and at several schools throughout the US.
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