Thursday, May 20, 2010

So I'm rewatching Bones...

Having run out of Law and Order episodes I've gone back to rewatch Bones. I don't usually watch television shows a second time. I'm finding it interesting because I've followed the series since the beginning so I'm able to make connections now that I didn't before. Also, the second time through lets me consider the story-telling angle a little more and something stood out to me this morning...

(Little Boy wanted to watch Umizoomi and we record cartoons in the other room to leave the main television to the adults on occasion so I have the rare chance to watch it during the day)

But the thing I noticed was the insertion of background material. Maybe it wasn't a perfect way to do it because I did notice, but it was good because I did not roll my eyes and think "infodump." I'm on Season 2, Episode 15 and the main character is in bed with someone when the phone rings.

Don't answer, he says.

It might be my publicist. She replies, my new book is getting a lot of attention. 

It brings up her book-writing in the beginning of an episode about her latest novel. Something I know because I've seen the shows (before and after), but it doesn't sound like something stuffed in there just to tell you what happened in case this was the first episode you've seen. Later on in the episode, however, they introduce Oliver, her ex-stalker, and there is a serious infodump, but the first one.... It was done well.


  1. Info dumps are hard to avoid and even harder to work into a narrative. I'm struggling with that right now writing a fantasy story set in an entirely different world. How much to give out and how quickly? I don't want to lose my readers right away, but it's a fine line between questions they have because they're lost and questions they have because they're curious. Sigh.

  2. I can't claim gobs of skill, and am nowhere near a professional editor, but I would be happy to read sections and note obvious info dumping or let you know if I'm completely lost. This is assuming you, like me, don't have many proofreader friends local and you're interested in more eyes.

  3. Thanks! I have a writing group, but it's always nice to have a fresh perspective. Once I'm at the stage where I'm ready to show, I'll give you a shout.

  4. I need to get one of those.

    My sister writes, but she prefers scifi rather than fantasy (even urban) and she doesn't do well at reading -- or at least responding after reading. And my blog doesn't have too much of a following so I can't follow MeganRebekah's lead and ask on blog for a group :) And locally we have a lot of "literary" writers, not "genre" -- and despite me talking about everything in the world here, I'm not terribly social so I haven't figured it out yet. :)

    One day...