"Tuck, Don't Dump"
by L. S. King
what to do when you feel the urge to infodump your readers
You know all those wonderful, long, descriptive paragraphs we have read and often write? Well, sometimes they bog down our writing and bore our readers. Really. Our brilliant passages might merely be tiresome purple prose.
So what to do when you feel the urge to infodump your readers?
One solution is to tuck instead of dump.
Instead of a paragraph telling what a character or a place looks like, for example, just work in little bits all through the scene. Consider these sentences:
He tossed his long brown hair over his shoulders.
By the end of the scene, we can have a fairly good description, without long narratives. Let's see what we know about this man? He has long, brown hair, blue eyes (that sparkle when he's up to something), and he's wearing a sword. He's also wearing grey pants and grey cloak, he has a moustache and chin beard, and is wearing leather boots and jerkin.
Not bad, eh? And all without a long narrative.
© 2005 - 2010 L. S. King