Story Confident writers parse out exposition bit by bit through the entire story often revealing exposition well into the Climax of the last act They follow these two principles Never include anything the audience can reasonably and easily assume has happened Never pass on exposition unless the missing fact would cause confusion You do not keep the audience's interest by giving it information but by withholding information except that which is absolutely necessary for comprehension Pace the exposition Like all else exposition must have a pro- gressive pattern Therefore the least important facts come in early the next most important later the critical facts last And what are the critical pieces of exposition? Secrets The painful truths characters do not want known In other words don't write California scenes California scenes are scenes in which two characters who hardly know each other sit down over coffee and immediately begin an inti- mate discussion of the deep dark secrets of their lives Oh I had a rotten childhood To punish me my mother used to flush my head in the toilet Huh! You think you had a bad child- hood To punish me my father put dog shit in my shoes and made me to go to school like that Unguardedly honest and painful confessions between people who have just met are forced and false When this is pointed out to writers they will argue that it actually happens that people share very personal things with total strangers And I agree But only in California Not in Arizona New York London Paris or anywhere else in the world A certain breed of West Coaster carries around prepared deep dark secrets to share with one another at cocktail parties to vali- date themselves one to the other as authentic Californians -centered and in touch with their inner beings When I'm standing over the tortilla dip at such parties and somebody tells me about dog shit in his Keds as a child my thought is “Wow! 372 of 558 cthonical gallifrey-feels Fanfic authors READ THE WHOLE FUCKING PAGE THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AND VALUABLE LESSONS YOU CAN LEARN AS A WRITER I SAY THIS AS A READER AND A PROFESSIONAL GENRE EDITOR Meme






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