1. isaac223
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    isaac223 Member

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    Presenting and Filling Out Information?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by isaac223, Aug 16, 2016.

    Generally, there are many kinds of information that need to go into a novel, such as information on the world -- history, lore, potential supernatural elements, cultural norms, etc. -- information on characters -- fears, hopes, dreams, desires, backstory, likes, dislikes, etc. -- and potentially any number of more necessary and relevant information. Often times, certain information is less important or vital to the plot, but fills out other clearly important elements of the novel.(It isn't like we need to know that Banjo Violin likes to read murder mysteries to know that Dr. Pepper is performing vile experiments on Mr. Joe Pibb, but it rounds Banjo Violin out into a more 3-dimensional character, making you care about him and subsequently making you care more about the plot.)

    With this in mind, I prepared as much information as I felt I needed for a particular novel, but... Alas! I... don't know how to present it to the reader. Of course I should present it in small bursts, especially the large amounts of info so to keep it from becoming an info-dump. That much I understand. In fact, the information I find hardest to properly present is actually the smaller, seemingly meaningless information -- particular in the character department. Let's say I have a planned character who has done something in their past that at the time didn't make a huge impression, but would be useless later on (usually by taking what they learned in that situation and applying it to the current situation.) Well, since it didn't make a huge impression (really only big enough to recall when most necessary) there'd hardly be a way to bring forth this information before, but when it suddenly becomes clear when they apply it to a vital situation relative to the plot, it'd seem somewhat like a contrivance, right? In fact, I find generally foreshadowing or bringing forth information on a character -- skills, likes, dislikes, character quirks, etc. -- the hardest to do. What is the proper way to do this?
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This is one of the most common questions asked around here, and there is no one easy answer. I think it's best to read like a writer; that is, reread a couple of your favorite novels to see how it was done by professional writers. If those novels worked for you, reread them to see how these effects were achieved. Read to learn how to write! ;)
     

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