K. M. Allan writes a phenomenal post about authors and info-dumping. Read about it on her blog. Thanks a lot for your advice, K. M. Allan.
When you become a writer, one of the “rules” you’re advised to learn is to avoid info-dumping.
If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s when the writer bombards the reader with everything they think they should know—all at once.
While you might think there’s no way you do that, info-dumping is an easy trap to fall into. It’s one of those writer-blind spots where we can easily see it in other’s work, but don’t notice it in our own.
It can worm its way in like typo gremlins, but here are some likely places you’ll find info-dumping so you can work out ways to avoid it.
5 Ways To Avoid Info-Dumping
Check The Starts
Info-dumping likes to live at the start of things, such as the first chapter, the first introduction of a character, or the first instance of world-building. It sets up home there because the writer makes it the perfect place to build.
Think about what happens when you’re penning the first draft. You’re discovering the story, telling it to yourself, and getting it all on the page. Once it’s there, we forget to examine it in later drafts for info-dumping.
As an example, let’s say it’s the first time your MC has visited the place your story is set. Trying to work out where you’re going with it, your writer-brain brought in another character with a lengthy explanation of the town’s history and why no one goes near the creepy abandoned two-story house on Cliché Crescent.
You needed to know those things to move onto your next chapter, but it’s likely the reader doesn’t need to know it all on their first read.