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5 Ways To Avoid Info-Dumping

Here’s some great tips from the always on-point K.M. Allan that might help you avoid “info dumps” in your next book or current WIP. Enjoy!

K.M. Allan

When you become a writer, one of the “rules” you’re advised to learn is to avoid info-dumping.

If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s when the writer bombards the reader with everything they think they should know—all at once.

While you might think there’s no way you do that, info-dumping is an easy trap to fall into. It’s one of those writer-blind spots where we can easily see it in other’s work, but don’t notice it in our own.

It can worm its way in like typo gremlins, but here are some likely places you’ll find info-dumping so you can work out ways to avoid it.

5 Ways To Avoid Info-Dumping

Check The Starts

Info-dumping likes to live at the start of things, such as the first chapter, the first introduction of a character, or the first instance of world-building. It sets up home there because the…

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The Stage Direction Checklist

Here’s a great post from K.M. Allan about “stage direction” . This is something I personally struggle with in my own drafts so these tips are concise and helpful!

K.M. Allan

We all have a writing habit that no matter how much we grow as a writer, sticks with us.

For many writers (myself included), stage directing is one of those habits, and it takes the form of describing every physical move a character makes, beyond what’s necessary.

Because this habit happens naturally, it’s usually hard to break and hard to spot. That is where this checklist comes in. It will help you flag the words that indicate stage directing so you can weed it out.

The Stage Direction Checklist

The Rules:

Look at each instance and see if you can eliminate, rewrite or swap the word out for an action beat.

Keep in mind that not every instance has to be deleted/changed. Use your judgment.

  • Entered
  • Exited
  • Glance/Glancing/Glanced
  • Grab/Grabbing/Grabbed
  • Lifted
  • Look/Looked/Looking
  • Pull/Pulling/Pulled
  • Pushing/Push/Pushed
  • Reach/Reaching/Reached
  • Tipped
  • Turn/Turning/Turned
  • Walking/Walk/Walked

If you’re seeing these words in your sentences, chances are…

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4 Signs You’re No Longer A Beginning Writer

Another great blog post from KM Allan. These points are really true and definitely come with experience.

K.M. Allan

When you decide to be a writer, you’ve got to start somewhere.

That somewhere usually includes a place where you have no idea what you’re doing, hate everything you write, don’t feel as if you’re a writer—let alone a good one, and someone who feels like it’s a constant struggle to even get words down on the page.

When you’ve been writing for a while, have completed a few manuscripts, queried, had short stories win prizes, poetry published or signed a publishing contract… you still think and feel all these things. The difference is you know what to do about them.

4 Signs You’re No Longer A Beginning Writer

You Know You Have To Fix Things

Hands up if you sent your first queries off with an MS that was pretty much there, but you knew still needed work. You may have figured the agent

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Lima, Ohio in the Year 2000

Reblogging this post I found thanks to Rust Belt Girl blog. Michelle’s photos really capture the spirit of a time and place. If you’re into urban photography, especially of architecture, take a look.

Intensity Without Mastery

collage 2

My photo archiving project continues. I decided to make albums of some of the photos on my Facebook page. The images for this blog posts are screen shots of an album that features photos I took in Lima in the year 2000. Back then I used one of the Sony Mavica cameras that recorded images onto floppy discs. I could fit just 10 images per disc, so I had to carry a baggy full of a dozen discs to make it through a photo walk.

Alas, I don’t have the originals files of these photos. All I have now are online copies, and the website where I uploaded them 19 years ago only has 500×375 or smaller versions of the images. I know that some of the photos had an original resolution of 1024×768 (if I felt bold enough to just take five pics per disc!). Lesson learned: back up…

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