Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Dump - Recycle or Just Throw it Out?

People give excuses not to GO GREEN all the time. "But I can't afford it." "But it's actually more harmful than helpful." "But it doesn't really make a difference."  However, I believe going green (to an extent) is the socially and environmentally sound option.  Even those who hate the whole GREEN campaign can agree that recycling paper, plastics, glass, styrafoam, and hazardous waste (to conserve natural resources, reduce landfill waste, and protect surrounding areas from harm) is a good thing to do.
Now, am I saying everyone should buy a hybrid car or switch out all their light bulbs or only buy products using recycled/recyclable materials?  No.  Just that, sometimes, recycling, if the item can be recycled, is a good thing to do.

And sometimes, you just have to throw some things away.
What does any of this have to do with writing?  (I’m getting there…)
I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember.  Growing up, my favorite thing to do was read.  To this day, I still love to read.  It’s my favorite past-time.  And I really love it when I start reading a book and I get sucked into this whole other world I never knew existed.  Thankfully, someone else did and they were skilled enough with their language and writing ability to transcribe a story and introduce that world to me.
I never realized how difficult that introduction could be until my focus turned to writing.

Since you, the reader, are new to my world of Chaos, I feel like there is so much you need to know about its history and the rules existing there.  Some things are easy to slip in here and there, but others?  Not so much.  For example, things the MC needs to know:  her family's history, who and what she is, the "real" history of the "real" world.
 Enter the INFO DUMP.

Ugh.  Sitting in the middle of my book, smelling the whole thing up, is an information dump about all the background stuff I know and which I truly believe enriches the story and want to share with you, my reader.  And it really isn’t full of garbage.  There are some gems in there.
But (and there is always a but, isn’t there?)
I feel like I’m giving the reader a history lecture, which (as most non-history-buff people would agree) is BORING!  The last thing I want is to bore my reader.
But (there it is again)
My main character really doesn’t know all this stuff and she needs to and she’s inquisitive and she asks and, and, and…
What do I do?  What do I do?  What do I do?

For you, the reader, do info-dumps bother you? I don’t think they bothered me…before I knew they shouldn’t be there…before I knew there might’ve been a better way for the author to tell me all that stuff.
But now…
The writer in me says I need to eliminate it.  Just throw it all away.
But then...

The story-teller in me says, “You need to know!!!!”

So, do I just throw it all out and see if it works without that knowledge?  I’m so close to the story, will I even be able to realize that the reader doesn’t know what I do?  Or, do I go back and try to weave the most important details into the existing story?  You know...recycle it.
That seems like the right thing to do.
But, but, but...

1 comment:

  1. Lol! I've been there, part of you says it's not needed, and the other half says details!! You need it in there. It depends, because certain deetails make the story and can't be taken out.

    Also I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. You can check it out on my blog. :)