Friday, 13 March 2009
I love exposition. I enjoy hinting at the backstory without giving too much away.
At the most drastic end of the spectrum, I've even wondered on more than one occasion whether to ditch my five-book series idea and just write the final volume with the rest of the plot as backstory. I probably won't do it - not least because volume one is all-but-finished, but also because I do believe that each book is inherently worth writing (and, I hope, worth reading).
Even writing five books, there are significant gaps in the narrative (before the beginning, and between some of the later volumes) which have to be filled in. Plus I would like someone to be able to pick up volume 2, or even volume 5, and enjoy it on its own - even if they might then want to go back and read the rest of the series. No shortage of opportunity to exposit.
It bothers me when I read subtle-as-a-brick exposition in novels, but I do sometimes worry that I tend too far towards the other extreme. On one of my earlier projects (a play) my exposition was so subtle that, when I re-read it now, even I'm not sure of all the background details. I knew when I wrote it.