Sunday, 2 August 2009

Beginnings are delicate times

I just invented a new post tag "brainstorming ramble". A blog post in which I ramble about writing issues I have in order to clarify them to myself.

Especially when you're writing fantasy with a non-real world setting and you're torn between not indulging in back-story and infodumps, and not confusing your readers. Ifodumps bore readers and the leave, but confused readers leave as well. It's about balance I suppose.

The problem is sorting out what the reader absolutely has to know in order to not be confused into putting the book down. This is what I'm struggling with at the moment. And I don't really have the answers. The initial setting is a former eco-holiday park that's become a kind of post-apocalyptic refugee camp/frontier town because it's still got electricity and similar. Why society collapsed doesn't need explaining yet (especially since exactly what happened is a mystery to the people in the story as well), but I do need to make it clear that it's collapsed. I'm only outlining at the moment, but my mind is looking at the synopsis and going 'how the heck do I show that?'.

I suspect a leap of faith is in order. I'll just jump into the story and trust that it will be obvious from context if I do it right. It's not like the opening scene doesn't establish that weird shit is going on anyway.

Yeah, hopefully that'll work.

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