“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?