I have too much exposition in my stories. What to do?

Asked by: Cassandra Johnson

How do you avoid too much exposition?

How to avoid exposition

  1. Backstory. People in real life don’t tend to stand around summarising their pasts in their heads, or thinking about their entire life history. …
  2. Events and second-hand reporting. …
  3. World-building and history. …
  4. Descriptions. …
  5. Emotions and traits. …
  6. Dialogue.


Is there such thing as too much exposition?

So while this post is about using too much exposition too soon, let’s all acknowledge that exposition is a good thing. (Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Omitting Sensory Details.) However, yes, we can have way too much of a good thing if we go to excess and if we go to excess straight out of the gates.

What does too much exposition mean?

Too much or too little and the reader will notice straightaway, rolling their eyes at your inability to explain things directly. It’s an unfair reaction, especially when there are so many things to explain.

In what ways could you improve the exposition of your story?

7 ways to write good story exposition

  • Build a specific scenario.
  • Set up vivid place and time.
  • Reveal intriguing character details.
  • Introduce engaging voices.
  • Evoke precise tone and mood.
  • Create bold inciting incidents.
  • Introduce important conflict.


How do you balance exposition and scene?


So make sure you're still moving the story forward even in those slower paced sections generally the ideal balance between these three aspects of writing is roughly equal amounts of dialogue.

How do you cut exposition?

World Building: How to Cut Down on Exposition

  1. First Step: Write Those Pages of Exposition Down. …
  2. Second Step: Finish the First Draft or Two. …
  3. Third Step: Assess How Much of Your World Is Original. …
  4. Top Ten Sci-Fi Clichés. …
  5. Top Ten Fantasy Clichés. …
  6. Fourth Step: Cram Exposition into Dialogue/Action.
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Can you show too much in writing?

Mind you, a very common side effect of developing your ear/eye for evocative words is to use too many of them: to over-write. Even when you’re Showing in this very economical, less-is-more sort of way, you still need to give each evocative word some space of plainness round them, so their evocation has room to work.

What is included in the rising action?

Rising action: The rising action starts right after the period of exposition and ends at the climax. Beginning with the inciting incident, rising action is the bulk of the plot. It is composed of a series of events that build on the conflict and increase the tension, sending the story racing to a dramatic climax.

How long should the exposition of a story be?

How Long Is the Exposition in Most Stories? Since stories are about change and values in conflict, the exposition, which contains no change, is necessarily quite short. Most exposition is just two or three scenes, and sometimes it’s just half a scene.

What is effective exposition?

Exposition is introducing your reader to your story. It’s saying, “Hello Reader, meet my character” or “Hello Reader, here’s that haunted house where everything is going to happen.” Exposition comprises of the choices you make, as a writer, to set the scene and initiate readers to your story.

How does good exposition help the reader?

Exposition is designed to convey information that provides insight into a character or advances the story. The background information provided by exposition helps connect to the reader to the emotional stakes of the narrative. As far as literary terms go, exposition may be one of the simplest to understand.

What is the difference between exposition and resolution?

The resolution is the last of the five main elements of plot. General plot structures are arranged as follows: Exposition: At the beginning of the story, characters, setting, and the main conflict are typically introduced.

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What is the difference between exposition and narration?

Telling a Story



Both narrative and exposition help you lay the groundwork for a story. While exposition provides minimal details, narrative moves the story forward by setting the scene, conveying characters’ emotions and providing opinions.

What is falling action in a story?

In storytelling, falling action refers to the period after the dramatic confrontation of the climax. This portion of the narrative helps deflate the plot’s tension and gives the character time to unwind after the emotional scene.

What is the most exciting part of the story?

The CLIMAX

The CLIMAX of the story is when the CONFLICT of the PLOT is resolved.It is often the most exciting part of the story: when the hero saves the princess, discovers the buried treasure, or slays the dragon.

Which part of the plot is most intense?

The climax

The climax (the most intense part of the story, often a turning point or a conclusion to the conflict) is preceded by rising action and followed by falling action.

Why is setting important?

The setting of a story is important because it provides the reader with context on the time, place, and environment that the story takes place in. It is also important because it improves the reader’s experience and adds to the story’s development with plot, mood, and characters.

What are the 3 types of setting?

There are three major components to setting: social environment, place, and time.

What is the best way to define setting?

Definition of setting

  1. 3a : the time, place, and circumstances in which something occurs or develops.
  2. b : the time and place of the action of a literary, dramatic, or cinematic work.
  3. c : the scenery used in a theatrical or film production.
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How does setting affect mood?

The setting is the physical location of the story, and it can heavily inform a story’s mood. For instance, a story set during a sunny day will be predisposed to a happy or carefree mood, while a story set in a haunted house will be predisposed to a sense of tension or fear.

What is psychological setting?

A psychological setting may be a reflection of what a character thinks or feels. Sometimes, an external physical setting can tell us about the psychological state of the person.

How do you create an atmosphere in a short story?

Five things: creating an atmosphere in your writing

  1. Use sensory detail. All five senses – sight, sound, touch, smell and taste – can be effective in creating a strong atmosphere. …
  2. Hold an image or word in your head as you write. …
  3. Inhabit your imaginary world in your daily life. …
  4. Limit your imagery. …
  5. Focus on the language.


What is emotional setting?

Settings with an emotional value are meaningful or symbolic. They represent something to the protagonist and possibly other characters. A location containing an emotional value might remind a character of a past event and the feelings associated with it, good or bad.

Is relief a mood?

Relief is a positive emotion experienced when something unpleasant, painful or distressing has not happened or has come to an end. Relief is often accompanied with a sigh, which signals emotional transition. People from all over the world can recognise sighs with relief, and judge relief to be a fundamental emotion.

Why do authors include conflict in their stories?

Conflict provides crucial tension in any story and is used to drive the narrative forward. It is often used to reveal a deeper meaning in a narrative while highlighting characters’ motivations, values, and weaknesses.