Standing Out in a Crowd

One of the challenges of writing characters is when there are groups of characters, particularly large groups like parties. The challenge of large groups is often the urge to describe as many people as possible to show the reader that we’re in a large group. However, sometimes when we’re describing a large group the less … Continue reading Standing Out in a Crowd


Sticky Side-Characters

One of the trickiest parts of description can be side-characters, in this article we’ll use side-characters to refer to any character who isn’t part of the main cast. What makes it so tricky is finding the balance in how much description is required, especially if the character isn’t going to reappear. As mentioned in the … Continue reading Sticky Side-Characters

Description Through Interaction

As mentioned in the previous article if we want to describe a character then it can help to break up the description, particularly if we want a sense of speed to our prose. One of the ways we can do this is through interaction; how they interact with others/the setting, how others interact with them … Continue reading Description Through Interaction

To Describe or Not to Describe

Some of the most iconic characters in literature have no description of what they look like. Mr Darcy of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is an example, we know he’s aloof and how he behaves but Austen never tells us what he looks like. Darcy seems to have ended up in the tall, dark … Continue reading To Describe or Not to Describe

Creating Characters

This week we're looking at character description: How much, when, and what do with do with big groups of characters? Monday - To Describe or Not to Describe, Looking at different degrees of description and avoiding info dumps. Tuesday - Description Through Interaction, Considering ways to break up description by using interaction. Wednesday - Sticky Side-Characters, How much description do we … Continue reading Creating Characters

Exposition By Character

When I say exposition by character I don’t necessarily mean exposition where one character explains something to another, though this is a perfectly valid technique, but what I mean is character moments. We can reveal a lot about a character through what they say and do, particularly when they interact with other characters. While we … Continue reading Exposition By Character

Exposition by Footnote

We can use footnotes in fiction, a lot of early novelist from the UK and Ireland used them, but they can be tricky to employ in modern fiction. Nowadays the footnote is largely associated with academia either referencing book titles or inserting extra information about a subject. The problem with footnotes is that it can … Continue reading Exposition by Footnote

Exposition By The Chapter

Is it a bad thing to do exposition by the chapter? Not always. Exposition by the chapter may be problematic if we’re writing ‘this happened because’ or ‘this works like that because’ and is simply a long explanation of something in the story. However, a chapter of exposition might be a flashback or a side-story. … Continue reading Exposition By The Chapter

Necessary Versus Unnecessary

Some exposition that may be considered ‘trivial’ and may be referred to as ‘unnecessary’ in the sense that it is not necessary for the main plot to function but it expands the world of the story. But is there anything that is actually ‘unnecessary’ exposition? Rather than ‘unnecessary’ perhaps ‘misplaced’ would be a better word. … Continue reading Necessary Versus Unnecessary

What’s This ‘Exposition’?

Exposition is the act of revealing information to the reader; it’s generally associated with information that is required for the story to function, but can also include ‘non-essential’ information. We may say that ‘essential’ information is the knowledge of the consequences of the adventure: In Lord of the Rings isn’t destroyed Sauron will rule the … Continue reading What’s This ‘Exposition’?