So, I'm writing basically the first book about my own 'universe'. It's a world in which there's a lot of lore required to understand the interactions between characters.
I'm very worried that I'm crossing the line with too much explaining of the lore. But it's very hard because I have to make it clear exactly what the main character man is giving up to be with his woman.
Anyone have some thoughts on this?
The characters live their lives in my mind, I simply document what they do. Disobedient buggers.
Hmm, I think it's logical you have to explain a lot. You see it a lot with fantasy books. Like the first book of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. It has a bit of a slow start just to create that world for the readers. But ones you're in that world they're epic!
I'm no fantasy writer, but I think it's hard not to. But as long as you keep it readable and the rest of the story is good. There won't be much of a problem.
Post by Agent Double Oh Zero on Mar 9, 2012 15:24:51 GMT -5
Yeah, exposition is fine, as long as it doesn't take too long. Maybe you should just split it up into small units, and explain them one at a time? It's okay if the story starts off a little slowly at first, as long as it picks up soon. The key is to let the reader know just enough that they understand the story, and to give them a sense of the reality of your world, but not to bog down the story unnecessarily, or to leave them confused.
I know, that hardly helps. =P I don't have the solution, though, because I have an issue with this too. I'm writing my first draft without worrying about any exposition at all. If I obsess too much, then I end up with neverending dialogue a million miles long! xD
Well...as it is, my first draft consists almost entirely of dialogue. xD
Also, how much exposition you need depends on the genre. In fantasy, richly textured worlds with many layers of existence are pretty common, but a thriller gives only a bare minimum of background. Since you're doing fantasy, you can get away with explaining things in paragraphs, or in conversation. :-)
"Like reflections on the page, the world's what you create." -Wither, by Dream Theater
Post by lionhuntermo on Mar 9, 2012 16:08:48 GMT -5
Woo fantasy writing! Anyway, I think you need to be conscious of just how much you're explaining things, but don't worry way too much about it. Like RJA and Agent said, because it's a fantasy, it probably needs a lot of explanation. However, does it all have to be explained at once? Maybe introduce different chunks as you go along, rather than just sitting down and going "Alright, here's how it all works". That's what I'm trying to do with mine (although there isn't really a *whole* lot of explaining to do...)
And it helps (1) to revise, and (2) to have a beta reader tell you what they think.
"There are three rules to writing. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are." ~The Romantic Trials and Troubles of Daisy Fraisier (Or "Why I should have been a Nun")~
Thanks all. I'm definitely breaking it up. Some I am explaining as something happens. For example (not a real one from my story, heh):
_____________________ He answered the phone with a simple "What now?" By that time in history, cell phones had become so common that he thought nothing of the greeting. He already knew who was calling because the small panel on the front informed him.
But it wasn't only that. He had also spoken with Proxy five times that day, and every single time had been bad news. Not just bad news, but the kind of bad news that makes a man want to never answer the phone again.
Not only that, but Proxy had a tendency in both phone calls, and emails, to carry on for hours at a time before saying 'the sky is blue and the grass is green'. Thinking that, he realized that if he had a hard time explaining cell phones, how was he ever going to help her understand emails? Emails were letters sent from one computer to another one, though perhaps it was more complex than that.
Or maybe not, but either way, Dyson didn't want to have to face Tracy and try to explain it all. In 2095, cell phones worked because satellites still existed. But nobody wrote anymore. They said a name or location into a microchip and everything was spoken or images. _____________________
Most, I am trying to get into conversation or have him explain 'around' events.
Post by butterflywings on Mar 10, 2012 23:04:08 GMT -5
Yes. Explaining while action is going on is better than pausing everything to explain. You don't need a long page of information. Please don't throw in a long, boring history lesson told to a bunch of bored students of the world.... Seen it done. I became just as bored as the kids in the class.
I came very close to throwing the book. And I never throw books. Well, maybe once.