I've been reading the Outlander series in its entirety and for the most part, really enjoying it. I'm on book 6 now, 2 more to go, and I really love the relationship between Clare and Jamie. For those of you who enjoy historical romance, I highly recommend it.
The series takes you from the first time they meet, and through their entire relationship for decades. There are a lot of trials they face and action, but there is one other thing that the writer adds - a lot of unneeded information. I find myself skimming a lot. I hate skimming. But when the writing doesn't really move the story along, it becomes hum drum.
Diana Gabaldon is really good at showing instead of telling - in fact I would say, she's a genius in that subject. Also her dialog is unbelievably awesome, along with her character and scene descriptions, but when it comes to info dump, she has that down pretty good, too.
Because I love the story I keep reading, but from the very first book I have skimmed here and there. It just goes to show, we all have writing skills we need to work on, even when we're a New York Times Best Seller. Our craft needs constant work.
Info dump is where we writers tend to ramble and give too much detail. It makes sense mainly because, well, we're writers. We tend to keep writing. But if it's not moving along the story your reader will skim.
It is one thing to add information in between dialog, yet another when that information is several paragraphs or even pages long. Yes, there is places where you need to let the reader in on certain stuff, but I believe a lot of it can be cut.
I see books all the time that are over 800 pages, even 1000 or more, and my first thought is, I bet there were plenty of places where the writer could have cut the info and the reader still would have "gotten the picture".
There are readers that relish description, I'm one of them, but sometimes it can become too much. When your finished with your tome try to go back through and cut the unnecessary writing. I think you'll find your novel is tighter and cleaner. Your readers will appreciate that.
If you have any questions on this subject, or any other creative writing skill, I'm always here for you. If I don't have the answer, I will find it. In the mean time, I hope you have a wonderful weekend.
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