Friday, April 13, 2012

Necessary Infodumping

I hate infodumping. I definitely hate reading it, but even more I hate writing it. Yet alas, sometimes a certain degree of infodumping is necessary to explain the details of a more complicated idea or world aspect.

We all hear time and again that infodumping is a no-no in novels. Never infodump!, They say. But sometimes, there are those rare things that simply cannot be shown, and must be told. The trick is to whittle down that information as much as possible until it is just the bare minimum, and then tell it in as interesting a setting and scene as you can. It usually comes out rather clich├ęd (as mine is, taking place during a tour), but sometimes it's just gotta be there for other things to make sense.

I am at the necessary infodump point in my re-write of Project V, and it's even worse to re-write than it was to write. I'm having to rearrange the information, which has me all confused with what needs to go where, and because I've become so frustrated with it, the whole ordeal has been like pushing a car through the mud. I have been at it for weeks (also on account of my health, though), and I have yet to see a dry patch to get the story back on the fast track.

I've been tempted to try my hand at another story for a while, perhaps just a short story, so I can at least keep writing to some extent. However, when I sit down to write, I cannot decide on any one project, and in the end my mind comes back around to Project V - as it should, really. So I end up working on whatever bit of Project V that pops into my head - be it the story of what happened that fateful day months before the first book begins (part of which ended up becoming the first book prologue, and a darn good one at that), or the beginning of the POV change in the middle of book three, which only this past week I discovered is going to happen (oh...uh...spoiler alert! :). Even if it doesn't fit into the books and will never see the light of day, it's writing - and more importantly, it's writing in my current WIP. So I don't sweat it as much as not writing at all.

I'm not sitting on my hands, however (which is a funny idiom for a writer :). This week I have begun trying some new techniques, which I hope will get me out of this infodump rut I'm stuck in and back onto the smooth road soon, sailing along towards the end once more. Wish me luck!


  1. Ah, the infodump. -_-

    I struggle with this a lot too, especially considering the whole premise of my WIP is the aftermath of a more common plotline. In other words, I've got a TON of backstory, and I can't quite work it all in smoothly yet.

    Good luck, to both of us. XD

  2. Yeah I always just do the infodump and then catch it on an editing pass. At that point I try to figure out a way to break it up and sprinkle it back in, but there always seem to be bits that want to linger there looking so, well, infodumpy.

    New follower BTW!