Readers’ question: How can I avoid info-dumps in writing?


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How to avoid info-dumps in writing?

The most important thing is to not put too much detail in your writing. Readers don’t want or care to know more than necessary to get the gist of the story.

So how to get those important details in the story without having them put the book down in boredom and walking away?

By stuffing the details oh-so-casually into a scene in which that information is essential or informative. Hopefully an action scene and it’s best if the info is limited to a sentence or two.

Issac Azimov was a master at this. He only gave information as part of the current action. This is an imitation of his style:

‘He commanded the door to open.’

“He didn’t have time to strap himself in before the ship lifted off and shot towards a star a thousand light years away. He was thrown violently against the wall. Ruefully, he took inventory of his bruised and battered body, knowing they’d reach their destination before dinner. He called sick bay and let them know he’d need a new leg stat.”

Again, just enough information for the reader to know what’s happening.

2 responses to “Readers’ question: How can I avoid info-dumps in writing?”

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