Don’t do this, do that instead.

1. Infodumping

the audience are not idiots;assume that they are smart enough to know what will happen or what you are talking about. Idiot or villain lectures are unnecessary, boring and use seemingly-needless language. A lot of TV dramas do this with montaged scenes in a sequence to remind us what happened.

The alternative: Action-dumping

You are allowed to throw you readers – and characters – in at the deep end with a scenario; it’s often good at the start of the book or chapter, or whatever. Background info should be revealed in clues and through the action, and kept to minimal; we are reading a STORY, not a history book.


2. Dialogue tags

Unless you have 3+ characters talking all at once, in the same room at the same time, there’s really no need for this (if you are in this situation, your ‘conversation’ might sound more like canaries in a cage). Dialogue doesn’t need to be a tennis match, but there’s no need for long pauses, peppered with “he said/she said”.  There should be no more than four characters in a situation like the one I mentioned, because then it’ll turn from a group into a crowd, and the reader cannot concentrate on the main characters.

Try this: a beat

This is where we depart from the conversation to either non-spoken action, description or Interior Monologue. If all we had was dialogue, we’d have no time to process and absorb what’s going on, and the dialogue would exist in a vacuum. Yes, dialogue is important but it’s all about balance.

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