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24

Two additional techniques... Character Reaction. A character might react in a way that reveals some of the information: "Mother! What the heck are you doing here?" Now we know that the person who just entered the room is the character's mother. Disagreement. You can have characters argue about it. They might disagree about: The facts The meaning of ...


15

Conflict and/or high stakes decision making makes anything more interesting. So introduce these factors into your info-dump. Your characters aren't just lecturing each other about how the hyperdrive works, they are arguing about exactly what's stopping the damn thing working as they spiral towards a black hole. OK, it doesn't have to be as dramatic as that; ...


5

1) Character drives plot. Go back to your character sheets, or cook up a few secondaries, and see what their backstories tell you. I've seen J. Michael Straczynski credited with: Conflict is made up of three things: What does your character want? What will they do to get it? What will someone do to stop them? So look into the backstories of your ...


5

Hitchhiker's Guide used a narrator with humorous effect to provide needed information. The narration never seemed to disrupt the flow, but add to it. Peter Hamilton provides limited info-dumping while describing the action. Edit: For example, the narrator of the Hitchhiker's Guide is describing the Infinite Improbability Drive, which rescues the two main ...


4

I love villains, so this is difficult. What I love about them is their brazen disregard for convention—moral, ethical, political, etc. They represent a freedom that the hero doesn't have. The hero is constrained by some rule or code while the villain runs free. This freedom allows the villain to evolve in ways that inspire our imagination. We wonder, how ...


3

If you have the luxury, I would say the best advice is to take your time with it, and find a way to get drama out of it. Here's the best example I can think of, the miniseries Oppenheimer, which is an absolute masterclass in exposition. I can't place video embeds, so you'll have to click links: ...


3

You can sometimes engineer settings where the exposition is somewhat natural; e.g. high school students could be going over a history lesson that conveniently explains key points about the setting to the viewer, or that mercenary might entertain himself giving the street rats tips about fighting and staying alive before he shows up for his next job.


3

On the flip side, let me comment that one thing I really dislike in many works of fiction is when we are told that someone is a villian, but he never actually does anything evil. To take a well-known book as an example: Consider "The Picture of Dorian Gray". The whole point of the book is that Dorian Gray is a horribly evil person who nevertheless does not ...


3

The villains I absolutely hate are selfish and self-serving, but they are also cowards. This may not be blatantly obvious when they have power to wield, because they hide behind it. If they stripped of it, however, they're reduced to a sniveling heap on the floor, begging the hero for clemency or mercy and betraying everyone and everything they can so they ...


3

A villain you want to take down is, at his/her core, someone who does not care about the suffering of others. An evil wizard who wants to murder every witch or wizard who isn't a "pureblood," regardless of how skilled or what the person has done. A plutocrat who became rich by destroying businesses, and then dismisses people who don't pay income taxes as ...


3

Every art form --not just writing --has a body of theory that has developed around it in order to identify patterns. However, no art form can be wholly reduced to a set of rules, or otherwise machines could successfully create creative art. If you write in a state of nature, unaware of the theories, you may create some things that are entirely original and ...


3

George Polti, a French writer, concocted a list that, arguably, contains every dramatic situation possible. His list has 36 situations. Although it's quite general, it may provide clarity.


2

As best as I can tell, it boils down to the same rule of show/tell. When writing a science fiction or fantasy on the screen or set, you want to show off the world that you've created as best as you can, and not tell about it. As far as screenwriting is concerned, Stargate Sg-1 was chock-full of exposition, but they made light of it with a scientifically ...


2

A few quotes from Charlie Kaufman: "I don't know what the hell a third act is." From an interview about his film Synecdoche, New York. "I don't know what's going on there." You see, the tropes and rules are there. But you don't have to know about them or use them. And if you learn them, you can break their structure, to create something ...


1

Honestly, your comment reads as if every author has gone to use these tropes found on TVTropes, and that is a lie. Tropes are found similarities among stories, not some writer's guide to writing stories. Stop over-thinking it and enjoy writing. Nobody is caring, people love the book, movie, comic book, and many other fictional pieces of work for what the ...


1

Strange and Norrell: Have you ever read Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell? In the book, Strange and Norrell are magicians that seek to restore magic to England. Norrell believes in books and well-defined algorithms that can be put to work to solve every imaginable problem. He believes that magic is complete and all a magician should do is to ...


1

I think you misunderstand the point of tropes, conventions, and "rules". The central point is to be aware of them in order to either try and come up with something original (difficult), to know when you can break those rules, or to at least be aware of what has gone before in order to avoid being clichéd in your approach. As a previous answer noted, you're ...


1

Creative writing isn't inventing something new. It is writing in such a way as to keep your reader's attention.Writers aren't re-inventing the wheel. They are painting it a different color. If this isn't what you want it's because you aren't a writer.



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