So, I read this book recently where it felt like the entire first chapter, and half the following dialogue, was all infodump . Which, as we...

So, I read this book recently where it felt like the entire first chapter, and half the following dialogue, was all infodump. Which, as we all know, spells CERTAIN DEATH to the story. :p (not necessarily, but it was pretty hard to get through.) Even though I didn't love it, I get that the author wanted me to understand the stakes of the story, so I could be invested in the characters and actually want to follow them on their journey. I couldn’t enter the story knowing nothing; that would be confusing. But I also couldn’t enter the story knowing EVERYTHING, as well as a bunch of immediately irrelevant things, because that was just as irritating to my editor’s eye.

Anyways, the whole situation just got me thinking: how should authors handle infodump and just how much is too much.

Obviously, particularly in spec-fic, we have to start with something to furnish the world. When you’re dealing with sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian, (even some contemporaries, if they’re not in a boring, US small town or New York), you need a bit of padding information, so the reader understands where they are, what’s going on, and just how much the stakes will affect the character. We have to know these things, otherwise we could get completely lost and throw up our hands in frustration and reread the Tiger’s Curse series for the fifty millionth time.

But then there’s all of those warnings against infodump. Which, as evidenced by the fact that I only scanned the book after the first 100 pages, merit some notice. There is clearly a point where the author has to stop stuffing in info and let the reader’s imagination take the reins, trusting them to follow the character until they get the info they need.

So, where’s the balance?

Personally, I would say there’s no magic rule for this. All we can do is be mindful of what our readers already know. If they know the stuff already—or reasonably should—we shouldn’t spend a page and a half telling them. If they don’t know—we still shouldn’t spend a page and a half telling them; instead, we should talk fast and get back to the story they came for. This way, the reader gets the information they need to understand the story without the boredom that’ll make them trade our books for another.

However, I am aware that I’m not every reader. Some readers enjoy more exposition; some enjoy even less than I do. Which makes me curious: what do you think about infodump (or more accurately, the writer simply handing information over to the reader)? How much is too much, and how do you like to see it handled? Can’t wait to hear from you, and I’ll see you in the comment section!

As I’ve mentioned before, I really enjoy finding YouTube artists, because they’re always incredibly talented, and honestly, I sometimes lik...

As I’ve mentioned before, I really enjoy finding YouTube artists, because they’re always incredibly talented, and honestly, I sometimes like their takes better than the original songs. :p

As for this one, I don’t know if I’d say I like it better than the original, but it is a beautiful version of it and I love how he made just those three instruments work together to bring every perfect element necessary to this piece (sidenote: I think the landscape is the sort of place Elliot would love to sit and draw in. Not necessarily drawing that place, but just drawing inspiration from the place itself. ;) ).

So what do you all think of the song? Do you ever listen to covers? If so, what’s a favorite of yours? Can’t wait to hear from you, and I will see you in that comment section!

Also, I made a YouTube playlist of my past Melodic Mondays! I haven’t added all the songs to it yet (still working on that, since I’ve been doing them for like two years now. :p ), but I have begun! So if you ever want to look back on the different songs I’ve shared, the link to the playlist is here. :)

So, I do a lot of posts with him . He is my main subject of torture writing, and he is rather beautiful, I think. 1. What’s His Fav...

So, I do a lot of posts with him. He is my main subject of torture writing, and he is rather beautiful, I think.

1. What’s His Favorite Place He’s Ever Visited?
I had to think a little on this one, but I decided that when Elliot was young, one of his foster parents took him on an art stroll. I actually got the idea from YouTube (how's that for writing research 😉): one of the vloggers I watch took their toddlers on this art walk where there were all these paintings by local artists displayed throughout their town. I thought it was cool and it matched my boy, so now it’s one of Elliot’s first memories and a huge part of why he’s so into art. (Also, if you know of any art or art aesthetics or anything like that on Pinterest, please comment them! His board needs love).

2. What’s One Mistake He’s Made That He’s Learned From?
Elliot is bad at learning from his mistakes. Like, very bad. He tends to see life as “This is the way things are and there is nothing I can do to change them.” So it takes a huge shift in perspective for him to even realize that he can learn from a mistake, and then to actually apply that learning is another difficult step entirely. Not that I think he’s never learned from a mistake, but he would be hard-pressed to pinpoint an answer because of the way that he thinks and understands the world.

3. What Was Their Favorite Subject In School? Or Their Favorite Thing To Learn About?
*distant sobbing at the very mention of school*

As far as favorite thing to learn in general, probably drawing techniques and things of that nature, most of which he picks up just from observation.

4. What’s Their Favorite Flower/Growing Thing?
Another thing that I had to think about (thanks so much Cait and Sky for these thought-provoking questions!) and it took quite a bit of rambling for me to come up with this answer, but I eventually determined that Elliot’s favorite growing thing is trees. Elliot really likes drawing landscapes, particularly ones that involve lonely roads and backdrops of forests and mountains. He enjoys the intricacy of making each tree different but the same; it’s a very careful and involved activity that he can focus on and kind of block everything else out while he does. Plus, the lonely road feel reminds himself of him.

5. Have They Ever Made Someone Cry? What Happened?
Enh... Yes. Probably more than once. And it’s kind of spoilers, but basically, Elliot was a difficult child, I’ll put it that way. And that caused some people to burst into tears. On occasion. More than once. Yeah.

6. Would You Consider Them To Be A Reliable Or Unreliable Narrator?
Definitely unreliable, but I also think that all 1st person narrators are unreliable to a certain extent. Because you only see the story from their POV and they’re human, therefore their point-of-view is very, very skewed to their thought patterns and beliefs and understanding of the world (which I intentionally utilized even more in Low Expectations). So I would say that, yes, Elliot is very unreliable, probably more so than most narrators, but only a little more than most humans.

7. What Do They Dream About At Night?
Probably pretty normal, random stuff. His dreams never came up in the book, but if I were to try to be funny/answer this question based off of what he thinks about during the day, his dreams would involve art, Bryce, Lela, and his foster family. Also, probably algebra. So it would be something along the lines of trying to draw a masterpiece, which suddenly morphs into algebraic equations with Bryce and Lela’s voices taunting him for all eternity. I’m not sure where the Blanchards fit into that though. Maybe they save him from it at the end.


8. They’ve Gone Out For A “Special Meal.” What Would They Eat?
Elliot’s not real picky; he just loves good food in general. But... if nothing else, milkshakes would definitely be involved. Milkshakes kind of have a special meaning throughout this story, so if it was a special event, milkshakes would have to be there. (I have before mentioned my love of ice cream, so obviously, this had to be tied in, lol 😉 )

9. What’s At Least One Thing They Want To Do Before They Die?
Ugh, I toiledwith this question. Not that it’s a bad one, but that Elliot made it so stinking hard to answer. The thing is Elliot’s problems are so immediate, I don’t think he’s even considered doing anything with his life. He’s a very “one day at a time” type of person because that’s all he can mentally and emotionally handle. There was actually a moment I was editing yesterday where he realizes that there aren’t many things he actually enjoys. There are things he doesn't enjoys and actively avoids but there isn't a whole lot that he'll fight for. And as he makes that realization, a chance arises for him to fight and he does so in his own way, but that's all very spoilery. ;)   

Point is, he doesn’t really see life as something he can fight for or change. And so he doesn't much try until someone shows him another way.

That didn’t really answer the question, did it? *sigh* I suppose it’s because he hasn’t really given one to me.
10. Do They Have Any Distinguishing Or Unique Talents?
Yes! As I’ve mentioned probably too many times, Elliot is an artist. His favorite medium is pencils because that’s what he has easiest access to, but I can also see him doing digital art and painting if he were given the chance.

So, there’s my Beautiful Person for the month! Did you do the linkup? Comment yours below! I’d love to visit. 😊

Hey, all! So I actually have a story behind the song today (yay me)! See, I have this Cinderella-retelling idea going on in the back of my ...

Hey, all! So I actually have a story behind the song today (yay me)! See, I have this Cinderella-retelling idea going on in the back of my head, but focusing on minor (and original) characters of the story rather than Cinderella and the prince. Basically, the idea I started with was looking at other people who might’ve been at that ball, for instance, a nobleman or a relative of the prince also finding love among the girls there. I was originally thinking it would be a flash fic or a short story, but as always happens when I attempt to write short, the idea exploded. POW. So now, it's definitely going to be a novel. Hopefully a short one? But definitely a novel.

Oh well.

Anyways. I don’t want to say too much about it because it’s not a main project and it’s gonna be ages before anything happens with it, but I’ve been gathering ideas and attempting to actually do a little planning this time before I dive in and pants the thing. Obviously, there will be love, ideally forbidden, because strangely, I’m kinda into that. And as I was considering the love story of two characters in particular, I came across this song and realized it was perfect for them.

I love the wonder-filled tone of Night Sky, and the lovely rise and fall of it. I can almost see the outing the two of them are on (definitely at night ;) , probably stars and other gorgeous nature stuff to look at), the whole evening almost surreal, wild, exciting, rising, rising, till the moment where they reach the top, that perfect second where time stands still and all seems right because they're together. And then of course, reality comes crashing down as the song falls and ends, and they have to go their separate ways.

If you couldn’t tell, I’m minorly enjoying brainstorming this idea. ;)

So, what did you all think about the song? Also, what have you been listening to lately? I’ve been wanting to find some new music with lyrics, but I’m having trouble finding some I can really get into. If you’ve got any recommendations, definitely comment them! Can’t wait to hear from you all! 

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