By Mar Preston, @YesMarPreston
I love Santa Monica, but will others care that much? What is critical information for me, the story teller, and a historical aside to someone else? This checklist is for me as well as you:
* What’s your main story? Think of it a as smooth, linear narrative and then think of a python with a big expository lump coming through.
* Can you fix it so something happens while the data dump is coming through?
* Is this a section in which nothing happens but a lot of expository information is set in to bring the reader up to date?
* How can you rewrite this until you can get across that information—and make the story progress at the same time?
* Can your character have a good reason to explain all this to someone else?
* Can your character read this info in a report, see it on TV, do an internet search?
* Can you do this in dialogue while something exciting is taking place?
* How can you show this rather than telling it?
* How can you reveal the critical information a little at a time by creating tantalizing hints?
* Ask yourself. Could I leave this out? Is this important? Are you sure?
* If it’s important, ask yourself whether it needs to be told now? Can it wait?
* Is this much description of the setting necessary? Why?
* Is this a personal rant? Some passionate opinion you just have to get in somehow?
* Is your reader an idiot? If not, how hard do you want a reader to have to work?
Both are available as paperbacks at Amazon.
See her website at marpreston.com