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22

Nerdy gobbledygook isn't actually nerdy gobbledygook - they're actually saying things using technical words, acronyms, and abbreviations. It's very similar to medical speech in that way. You'll only sound like a tryhard if you're sticking pseudo technical made up words in that don't actually mean or say anything. The first step is to figure out what ...


7

I think it depends on what the main problem is in the novel. If the main problem is technical in nature, the reader needs to have some sense of what it technically possible. If the main problem is psychological or moral, however, what matters is the decision to use or not use the power in question. There is a whole cottage industry online doing "if A has ...


6

Find and emulate a writer you like who uses technology in his stories without resorting to jargon or interrupting the narrative flow. Michael Crichton does an excellent job of this! He writes compelling stories about people faced with the effects of technology. He occasionally uses the prolog to establish some background information. But from there on, his ...


5

The best way is to either become enough of a "nerd" yourself to speak the lingo, or find someone who can help (keshlam mentioned this in comments) The trick with much of the lingo is that subcultures invent such lingo to allow themselves to quickly and succinctly describe things that matter. As a result, such lingo has a tendency to get quite precise. ...


4

As you may know, Tommy, there was a question quite similar to yours put by KeithS a little while ago: Avoiding the "as you know" trope in exposition. There were several answers including mine which boiled down to the desperate need to introduce more drama into the explanation or we're all gonna die! The drama could be in the form of character conflict ("Why ...


4

Good question. I'm tossing and turning over a one-and-a-half page info dump at the end of my first chapter (psychiatric drama). There's no way anybody gets it if it's not explained, right? There's only so much random dialogue you can propagate before you just have to go for it. You can do it in bits and pieces like The Will and The Word from Eddings' ...


3

Describe the effects, particularly where the effects in space without the presence of air resistance/friction differ from the familiar effects in an atmosphere where friction slows things down. Thucydides' answer to your question in Worldbuilding SE gave several possibilities, e.g. "Kinetic energy weapons will go until they run into something." Since your ...


2

I wanted to give another answer that goes in a different direction than my first. Write down every detail about what you're dumping about. Then look at each detail. Is it REALLY vital that the character know everything that there is to know about the entire history and every nuance of the magic? Probably not. You may feel it's vital, but it's probably not. ...


2

This is a complex question. The business of balancing information and story is always tricky. One good approach is to give minimal information, then bury further descriptions in the course of the story. Tolkien often works like this. He offers a brief description of a character's appearance, and other details appear in the course of the story. He does the ...


2

First off, +1 to all comments that advise "gobbledygook is fine if you use it correctly" and "gobbledygook isn't gobbledygook if given the right audience." I also think it's important to strike a proper balance between technical and layman's terms. I often find that the Sci-Fi writers I like the best sprinkle jargon in with enough context to where you can ...


2

Read a well-known sci-fi author like Arthur C. Clarke. I'll recommend "Rendezvous with Rama". He'll get away with a lot, by simply stating what stuff is. As mentioned by others, it's not a lazerpistol, it's a zapper or a gun. It's not a "GUI that gets the IP using a Visual Basic Script" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkDD03yeLnU) it's "something I cooked ...


2

Are you sure you have to justify to the reader why you've chosen to write about certain people in a certain century? Sure, there is the question, why does the story start here? But it could be as simple as your protagonist has come of age and are starting to see his abilities manifest, or some antagonist has finally found a proof that the magic ones exists ...


2

One thing I would suggest is to know your audience and your characters. For example, if you're writing from the perspective of a particular character (either first-person or third-person limited), then you want the following: Your readers to identify with that character in some way, and That character's thoughts, words, and actions, to correspond with his ...


1

How well do YOU understand the physics of what the character is doing? If you have a detailed, fully internally consistent process worked out, then you can probably just allude to it in very general terms if the in world population wouldn't understand it (and perhaps the character himself doesn't have the scientific vocabulary to articulate it if he is the ...


1

You see three options: 1) I like history so I like option 1. 2) involves a change in the abilities or plans or desires of Earthlings who go to the secondary world, so that more of them change things there. This involves a sociological change in all Earthlings in recent history, or a change in a small subset of Earthlings that you define as the ones able ...


1

I know in Jurassic Park by Michael Creighton, he described code in a way that emphasized what it DID instead of getting into the intricacies of it. He'd be like "Bob sent a command to locate the virus--the command failed." I don't know if this helps you, but the code was described in such a way that it didn't get in the way of the story. Maybe check it out?


1

What did he research? Why? How? What did he find out? The point I am trying to make is that "research" as an abstract does not really mean anything. It only has meaning and impact in how it connects to the story. Do exposition on those connections, not on the research itself. You mention wanting to make clear that he spent months on that research. So you ...


1

Try using real words instead of made up nerd substitutes like "tryhard" and "backstory". People are granted more credibility when others can tell that they're literate.


1

This is tricky, because you can't explain the way magic without, you know... explaining the way magic works. The trick is to make it interesting. I think one of the best examples I've seen comes from The Final Empire, the first Mistborn book by Brandon Sanderson. It opens on a plantation on a very foggy night, with the arrival of a traveler, Kelsier. The ...


1

I'm not a fan of info dumps. They can get boring and cause the story to drag. Also, I think readers like to make their own speculations and guesses about things. With an info dump, they lose the opportunity to do this. Also, I don't think characters really want to sit down and be told pages and pages worth of information. They might glaze over and get bored ...



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