How Infodumping Can Kill Your Novel

Infodumping is the number one cause of readers skimming a story. It causes the story to drone on and on, explaining everything and leaving nothing to the imagination. It tells the readers things they already know, either from the story or common knowledge. And bores the readers by repeating information and not allowing them to connect to the story or the characters.

How Much Backstory is Too Much?

Too much backstory can bring a story’s pace to a standstill, bogging it down in insignificant details of a character’s past, world-building elements, or history of the current conflict. It supplies information outside the scope of the story the reader does not need to know and often leaves little to the imagination. It steals all secrets and surprises, leaving the reader to drown in boredom because they already know everything ahead of time. But that doesn’t mean all backstory is bad.

How Do We Know When to Show vs Tell?

A well-told story is a combination of showing and telling. As readers, we want to experience the story through the main character’s eyes, but we don’t want to get bogged down in details we don’t care about. After all, it’s much easier to skim through to find the more interesting bits. But we also don’t want to be told why something is happening. We want to see it happen. Showing and telling both have their place in a story. So, how do we know which to use?

How to Write a Strong Middle

The middle of a story can be one of the hardest parts to write. It can be challenging to keep the middle interesting enough for your readers to finish the story as it begins to drag into predictability and they start wishing it would get to the end already. To combat this, we need to give our midpoint as much importance as we do the other plot points.