I always have the same issue toward the end of my first drafts- Info dumps. When my loose ends need tying up, or sub plots start to link with the main narrative, I dump information like a steaming, stinking cow pat.
The big problem comes with trying to sort through the cow shit to find the diamond. What is necessary? What has been touched upon already that can be cut? What can be left for another chapter, another book? All these questions run through my head, but I can’t sort and cut during the drafting process. I have to keep the blinkers on, and power through. I’m not a planner, so the end of my first drafts are usually a whirlwind in my mind, and I must keep momentum.
I dump and run…
I lift the metaphorical writing rug, and brush the shit under it, until I can’t leave it any longer, and then I come at it with a broom, hoover, flame thrower… whatever is needed during editing. That’s what editing is for, is it not?
As a reader, I don’t mind a small block of information being dumped on me, but I don’t like to be dumped on from a great height. As a writer, I try to drip feed information throughout the narrative and dialogue, but I will hold my hands up and admit that I too can leave a little dump or two dotted about.
I’ve heard mixed responses from other writers. Some think that info dumps are okay if they’re paced throughout dialogue, others feel that they should be sorted before editing as it can be a headache to sort info dumps after the draft is complete, and a few even think that the mere mention of an info dump earns you the title of ‘lazy’ writer or ‘poor’ writer.
Chill out, I always sort it. I’ll give myself a little credit and say that I can work through a good dump! …
What are you thoughts on info dumps? How much is too much? What is your technique for combating/ sorting an info dump?