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You all know Mr. Exposition. He's the character who says, "Well, Jim, as you know, the Chopec are a people who live in Peru but occasionally take ocean voyages to Cascade in order to seek out the heads of corporations that are destroying their lands." His is a thankless job, that of explaining to the readers who a character is and exactly what is going on, or of giving background information. Sometimes, she is Ms. Exposition, or Dr. Exposition, but the job is always the same. In bad writing, Mr. Exposition has no other purpose as a character than to dispense information. He is not really a person at all, but a walking encyclopedia. In the worst writing, Mr. Exposition is not a character, but the writer himself, giving the readers lots of information in blocks of not very interesting prose. This is also called info-dump.

Info-dump is to be avoided whenever possible. Yes, some information does need to be given straight out, but a good writer tries to find an interesting way to do that. MOST information should be woven into the story in such a way that the readers are not consciously aware that they have been sucking it into their brains. It is more fun for the readers to believe they have discovered such tidbits on their own than to have info-dump forced upon them in large, unpalatable chunks. This leads us to the most important rule in fiction writing:

Show Don't Tell



Show Don't Tell


Point of View

Tense Persons


Names, Pronouns, Descriptive Phrases



Plurals, Numbers, and Apostrophes


Common Errors


Favorite Bloopers

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