Avoiding the Info Dump

My current WIP (as I’ve mentioned before, a story I have been working and reworking since last September) deals with a hero and heroine who have essentially known each other their entire lives. Though the hero has mainly been gone since college, these two share a past that is part of who they were and are, and a big part of their relationship. It’s definitely a friends to lovers situation, which is one of my favorite tropes. In fact, the first novel I ever wrote had a best friends romance.

But of course there are some serious pitfalls when it comes to trying to write about two people who already know almost everything about each other. When you have two strangers or kind of strangers, you can write so the reader gets to know them as the characters get to know each other. When the characters already know it all, it’s hard to put it out there in an interesting way.

In the past three WIPs I’ve written, I feel like I’ve successfully avoided infodump, mainly because it was a non-issue. The characters were either strangers or near enough strangers. But with this story, I’m really struggling with what to tell and when and how.

My conclusion at this point is that I can’t get hung up on it. I have to write it the way I think will work, send it off to my CP for feedback, and then probably go back and revise after my CPs comments and as I get through the rest of the book where I might find better places to reveal that past information.

As I’m working towards publication, I sometimes get that horrible feeling that I’m doing something wrong. And if I let myself delve into that feeling, I get paralyzed. If I worry over every word, ever paragraph of back story, I’ll never get the story written. So, I can’t get hung up that I’m giving too much information now. That’s what revising is for.

I think I might write that across the top of my computer: that’s what revising is for.

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