Sunday, August 1, 2010

Info Dumping

Many new writers, and even some multi-published authors, dump too much information at the beginning of a story. This deprives the reader of the opportunity of learning about the characters and the plot piece by piece, which would help hook them into the story. I heard an author describe characters as having layers like an onion and the author’s job is to peel away one layer at a time.

In the movie, The Bounty Hunter with Jennifer Aniston, the writer resisted the urge to give too much information up front. We don’t know why she has a warrant for her arrest or why she divorced her ex-husband, the bounty hunter who is determined to take her in. We are given bits of information to piece together. Then, just when we are learning about one plot point, we are told he used to be a police officer, but we don’t know why he lost his job. We want to keep watching the movie to find out. Give your readers one layer at a time so their curiosity will keep them hooked and they will keep reading to uncover the plot points and character development in your story.

Until next week,
Happy Writing!
Tina LaVon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post, Tina. Info dumping is something I struggle with. I put it in the first draft more for myself to really get to know my characters, and then will rework later into the book during the revision process, if it stays at all. :)