5 Ways to Avoid the Dreaded Infodump – by Bryn Donovan…

What does an info dump look like in a story?

An infodump is usually a few or several paragraphs—or even several pages—of character backstory, explanations about the fictional world, or any other information the author feels like we need to know.

While an infodump usually happens in exposition, it may also happen in an unnatural conversation: one character tells another character what they both already know. You may also encounter this in screenwriting, and it’s also referred to as “As you know, Bob,” or AYKB.

Either way, the key word in “infodump” is dump. The writer is dropping all of it on us like a dump truck.

So what’s wrong with an infodump?

If an author is writing in first person or third person point of view, the infodump is a break in that point of view. The character isn’t really going to sit around and contemplate their life from birth to the present day, or the entire history of two warring realms.

If an infodump is delivered in dialogue between characters who already know the information, the characters don’t feel as real, and it comes off as a bit stilted.

A long infodump is terrible for pacing. It makes a scene stall out and kills the momentum of the story.

The most important reason not to do a big infodump, though, is that it’s boring. Readers showed up for characters, action, dialogue, and drama. If they hit an infodump about your fantasy world’s agriculture or currency, or about the backstory of a character they’ve barely had a chance to get interested in yet, they may start skimming. They might even abandon the book.

Writing experts are always saying, “Instead of an info dump, weave it into the story…” But they rarely explain how! So I’m going to show you 5 ways to do it.

Continue reading HERE


3 thoughts on “5 Ways to Avoid the Dreaded Infodump – by Bryn Donovan…

  1. Another reason not to info dump is that it doesn’t work as a way of conveying important information. Readers usually need multiple small reminders of the backstory/world/tech/politics/whatever before it all sinks in and begins to give then a feel for the world/time/place etc. That’s why weaving bite sized chunks into the story works so much better.

    Liked by 1 person


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