A3Writer: Lectures (AKA Info-Dumping)
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lectures (AKA Info-Dumping)

     As a professor, it's almost expected that I lecture. Truth is, I hate lectures. Pretty much always have. I don't like someone standing up and telling me everything I should know. I don't like being that guy, either. Which is why I've been moving away from lectures. Certainly there are times when someone has some important bit of information to impart that a lecture is the most effective method, but more often than not it's ineffective. Of course, this goes along with the control idea. A lecture is the ultimate form of a controlled classroom. Give up the lecture and you give up a measure of that control.
      But I think it's worth it to get rid of those awful lectures. More discussions, more exploration, more action.
      Stories have their share of lectures, though the industry term is usually "telling" or "info-dumping." So it usually goes that writers need to show more and tell less. It's a hard lesson to learn. As a writer, there's always so much information that needs to come across, and it feels like simply telling is the most efficient way to convey that. We want to educate the reader on all the necessary information before moving into the story. Unfortunately, we forget that all that world-building and information is usually not the most interesting stuff, or that it's only interesting to us. I hope I've moved past my most egregious info-dumping moments.

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