How do you Control Infodumps?

Alfir

The Inventor of Words
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Me, I turn them into trivia, placing them at the end of each chapter of fewer than 200 words. Sometimes, my infodumps range from 3 to 5 paragraphs per chapter or less. Infodumps are very deadly, I must say. They will either kill your story or turn it into something better.

How about you? how do you control infodumps?
 

Bartun

Friendly Saurian Neighbor
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Me, I turn them into trivia, placing them at the end of each chapter of fewer than 200 words. Sometimes, my infodumps range from 3 to 5 paragraphs per chapter or less. Infodumps are very deadly, I must say. They will either kill your story or turn it into something better.

How about you? how do you control infodumps?
I try to info dump through dialogue, since my protagonist is a foreigner in the land where the story is taking place, it makes some sense for her to ask questions.
 

LostLibrarian

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From another thread:
There is a concept thrown around that I like - "Exposition as ammunition".

Don't take your information as something you dump on your readers and go on. Weave it into your story. Dialogue, Quests, revelations.
You can either throw in 3 pages of the history of the city and the old emperor who signed an important treaty. Or you let the MC find that out through his own actions and give the reader that information at the same time.
Each chapter should give your reader some kind of new information. Hence, it's best to use that info-dumping bit by bit to move some parts in your story.
 

TrashyHuman

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meme42.jpg
 

BlackKnightX

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Me, I turn them into trivia, placing them at the end of each chapter of fewer than 200 words. Sometimes, my infodumps range from 3 to 5 paragraphs per chapter or less. Infodumps are very deadly, I must say. They will either kill your story or turn it into something better.

How about you? how do you control infodumps?
I don’t really info-dump. When the informations were needed, I would just provide them in the exposition—only when it’s really needed or relevant to the story at the moment. Other than that, well, there’s also the way of adding it into scene. Maybe have the characters talk about it and such.

All in all, the readers don’t need to know everything from the get go; that’d make the story boring really fast as there’s no sense of discovery left.

Just don’t info-dump, instead slowly feeding it to the readers little by little.
 

Omnifarious

The Synaptic Nebula
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With dexterity, cunning and finesse.
With dexterity, you add info that is to the point and only at the moment you need it to be known
With cunning, you add info cleverly that blends seamlessly into the story without the reader knowing they are absorbing it.
With finesse, you are adding only what is necessary and never too much
 
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Attack with exposition? If you have to do an info dump, do it in a way that messes with the MC and causes drama, so people are distracted?

Also, surely exposition avoidance scales with Charisma? 🤣
 

Ai-chan

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Me, I turn them into trivia, placing them at the end of each chapter of fewer than 200 words. Sometimes, my infodumps range from 3 to 5 paragraphs per chapter or less. Infodumps are very deadly, I must say. They will either kill your story or turn it into something better.

How about you? how do you control infodumps?
If you have information to impart, separate it into 1 sentence each. If you have more than 6 of such sentences in 1000 words, reduce it to 6. Then make paragraphs around such sentences, or make it a dialogue scene. Don't have more than 6 infodumps within 1000 words. 6 is already too many.
 

lnv

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Me, I turn them into trivia, placing them at the end of each chapter of fewer than 200 words. Sometimes, my infodumps range from 3 to 5 paragraphs per chapter or less. Infodumps are very deadly, I must say. They will either kill your story or turn it into something better.

How about you? how do you control infodumps?
Generally, if you plan to infodump, it is best to get it out of the way early. People can tolerate them better before they immerse themselves in the story. The same thing applies on a per chapter basis, if you plan to infodump, do it early in the chapter before the reader immerses themselves in the chapter.
 

Dewux

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Do what George Martin does: DROP, WAIT, then ELABORATE. Basically, you drop the information and act like your readers already know about it, however in the next scene or chapters, the information shows itself naturally usually through the setting.

Example:
Protagonist states that he must avoid hollows when crossing the forest in the first scene, but he doesn't elaborate on it since story-wise it doesn't make sense for him to say it. However, in the next scene the protagonist, while carefully walking through the forest, stumbles upon a floating semi-transparent figure with a ghastly face. The figure spotted him and let out a screech and chased him, then the protagonist cursed and runs away from it.

This is what George Martin usually does in his song of ice and fire books. He drops an information then reveal what it means/show in the next scene or chapter. In my example, we, the readers, don't know what hollows is aside from the fact that it's present in the forest and deadly enough for the protagonist to steer away from. So when we spot the semi-transparent figure chasing the protagonist and the protagonist reacting in such a way (cursing and running), we usually automatically link the figure with the term hollows.
 
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Paul_Tromba

His Lordship
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You control infodumps by not infodumping. Rather than explaining the world in great detail, leave little details in dialogue and descriptions that act as questions and curious notes until they can be formed into one big setting using a single bit of exposition that doesn't sound forced. Your reader won't be overwhelmed by the insane amount of info and it adds to the mystery of the world itself. At least, this is what I try and do.
 

AliceShiki

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I just don't do them in the first place.

Info dumps are usually filled with unnecessary information that, might sound cool to the author, but is probably boring and unnecessary to the reader.

Give the reader the information they need as it is needed. The MC can see things happen as they progress through the story without anyone explaining the history of the kingdom to them.
 
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