How to Avoid Info Dumping

I had checked the calendar. I knew the dates. I knew that July 1st was my next date for blogging… I posted…

I checked the calendar again…

…well, I was wrong. 😂 Blame it on my poor head full of studying. (and, by the way, YAY! I’m officially done school and now I’m freeeeeeee!)

Source

So now we’re here with the real last post before I move. 😛


Info dumping is a very difficult thing to avoid. Even I do it a lot sometimes. If you’ve ever read a book where it info-dumped, you know how bad it was: you were trying to learn all this new stuff at once, and it moved on assuming you had it all down pat. It could’ve been confusing, or even felt forced.

So how can you write it in a way that keeps a reader interested, explains things, and doesn’t feel forced?

Today’s Goals:

  • Learn how to present information in a story
  • Apply it to your own writing

Threading

Don’t put all the information in just one spot. Talk a bit about it, and then move on with the story, and then talk a bit more about the information. That way, the story keeps moving even as you explain things.

Motion

You must keep the character in constant motion. If you’re going to stop to talk about information, the character should be doing something. For example, if you say that they cross the room, and then talk about the information, they’re in motion. As soon as you’ve done a short spurt of giving the information, then the character can finish the motion – in this example, reach the other side of the room. Having a character in motion gives the reader a feeling that the story is also moving.

Jump

If you’re going to info dump, try jumping from each subject. I know at one part in my own book, I was in the POV of a character for the first time in the book and had to give a bunch of information on a thing in their past and something that they’ve been up to. I kept swapping between subjects, giving short spurts of info on each. The hard thing about doing it this way is giving it in a way that won’t mix the reader up so that they don’t have trouble keeping track of everything.

Spurts

This pretty much goes unsaid, but mainly to avoid info dumping, you just gotta give it in small bites – or spurts. This one is a combination of threading, motion, and jumping because you thread small parts between the motion of the character, and while jumping between subjects you do it in spurts. By doing it in small bits, it gives it to the reader in bite-sized chunks, so they can easily digest it.

Paragraphs

Whatever you do, do not, I repeat, do not put everything in one paragraph! Just look at this post. I constantly start new paragraphs. That’s because it makes it easier to digest. Just like giving the information in small amounts, you need to actually type it out in small amounts. Just pay attention the next time that you have to read a super long paragraph. It’s hard!

Now it’s Your Turn!

Go back to your books where you had to give information, and see if you can use any of these techniques to help give it to the reader more easily. You’ve got this. 😃

Remember, I’m moving my blog next week! If you want to make sure you don’t loose out on all the awesome posts that I have planned, remember to subscribe to my email list! You’ll get a free, 7-day course on how to defeat writer’s block, and lots of great insider info on my writing and blogging every 2 weeks. 😉

Do you struggle with info-dumping as well?

Was this post helpful to you?

-Julia

Photo by Beatriz Pérez Moya on Unsplash

Disclaimer: the GIF was not created by nor is owned by me.

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