Writer's Block Daily:

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IIRC the author of The Legend of Eli Monpress described their work as anime inspired or something along those lines once also Japan has Light Novels which are often novels written to be like anime, if not the novelization of an anime.
Rarely active, try DA/Tumblr Avatar by pippanaffie.deviantart.com
16877 MajorTom8th Oct 2012 03:30:24 PM , Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
In this post, I go hard on a book I love...in the name of literature!

Somewhat well said. Personally I'm not fond of opening chapters being little other than exposition. It's one thing to have an Opening Crawl like Star Wars or Halo ODST in visual media but other than that exposition only chapters kinda suck.

I personally prefer stuff that even if exposition heavy throughout the work (Lord of the Rings I'm looking at you) opens with something other than exposition. For instance Tolkien's stuff opened with Slice of Life type stuff with some oddities and thin if any exposition and that which exists is tied to the scene or builds upon the world. (At least The Fellowship of the Ring and The Hobbit opened that way.)

I emulate the same feel. I leave the reader completely in the dark on many things in my prologue and first couple chapters. You don't find out who or what Preyarans are or why Mat is in Rio Azúl fighting them or a lot of things then. I only start actually building the world, expositioning and elaborating on that stuff when it starts mattering aka when Admiral Mei Lin goes out in Chapter 3.

Even then I don't have exposition-only chapters. Everything has something else than that. A conflict setter, some Scenery Porn, a heartwarming moment, just something else.

edited 8th Oct '12 3:39:00 PM by MajorTom

"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
16878 TeraChimera8th Oct 2012 05:39:09 PM from somewhere out there
Cool Celtic Composition
I leave the reader completely in the dark on many things in my prologue and first couple chapters. You don't find out who or what Preyarans are or why Mat is in Rio Azúl fighting them or a lot of things then. I only start actually building the world, expositioning and elaborating on that stuff when it starts mattering aka when Admiral Mei Lin goes out in Chapter 3.

Personally, I think this is a very bad thing to do. Giving the reader no clue whatsoever as to what is going on can be a turn-off for people. Read over The Hobbit again; the first three pages are nothing but exposition and establish the things you need to understand the story, like a little bit of who Bilbo is. The first chapter also has plenty of exposition on the dwarves, but that's woven into the narrative.

Now, if by "exposition" you mean passages like, "This is Alex. Alex is an anthropologist from U of C, and he's not the brave or outgoing type. No, Alex blah de blah de blah.", then I agree with you. However, not all exposition is given in contextless dumps. The opening of the first Mass Effect is pretty good with this; it has a brief opening scroll, but all that really says is, "It's the future, and something called mass effect is like super important." Everything else — politics, technology, biology, history — you learn from talking to people. Just because it's in dialogue and character-building instead of a dump doesn't make it not exposition. I once worked some minor exposition about segregation and magic into a conversation involving clothing stores, Hawaiian shirts, and Burger King.

To me, the primary purpose of exposition is to answer the questions, "Who are these people and why should I care?" If it's Chapter 3 and I'm not seeing any answers yet, I'll probably put the book down.

edited 8th Oct '12 5:40:30 PM by TeraChimera

"The Uncertainty Principle isn't about uncertainty and it isn't a principle; other than that, it's perfectly named." — David Van Baak
16879 MajorTom8th Oct 2012 05:57:41 PM , Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
Everything else — politics, technology, biology, history — you learn from talking to people. Just because it's in dialogue and character-building instead of a dump doesn't make it not exposition. I once worked some minor exposition about segregation and magic into a conversation involving clothing stores, Hawaiian shirts, and Burger King.

And that's a lot of what I do. I don't go "This is Daniel, he's a man from parts unknown and knows the answer to yadda yadda yadda and invented blah blah blah that does yack yack yack and so on".

Thing is, I also keep the exposition relevant. I don't go world building and exposition dumping about the war or military or technology in Chapter 2 when the opening scene there is baseball. It's just not relevant and no amount of Narrative Filigree would make expo-dumping relevant there. Instead I world build exposition in Chapter three when it starts showing the military stuff and the world at large. The first three chapters are basically meeting the characters (well some of em anyways) and seeing they have a life outside the central plot that they aren't some useless plot device or trapping. I'm sorry if that style turns you off but I cannot stand protagonists who have no life outside the story, that they don't have any likes which aren't plot points, that they are simply the plot device by which the entire work revolves around. Those kinds of protagonists are shallow, boring and frankly do the work injustice.

Frodo had a life outside the Lord of the Rings. Bilbo too. Harry Potter has a life outside his shenanigans at Hogwarts. Master Chief has a life outside of kicking alien ass. (Mind you that is Expanded Universe type stuff but it exists.) Brian Robeson had a life outside being a plane crash survivor. Henry Fleming had a life outside of the Civil War. (It wasn't shown much but it was there.) Beezus and Ramona have lives outside of being just kiddie shenanigans shown on page. A lot of well-written protagonists have lives outside the story.
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
16880 Night8th Oct 2012 06:29:35 PM from PSNS Intrepid , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Bring it on! I'm right here!
I have approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes of productive writing time left for the month.

Then X-COM hits my hard drive and it's all over.
Trusted Poster of Legitimate Advice (from Wo-Chan)
16881 TeraChimera8th Oct 2012 06:34:16 PM from somewhere out there
Cool Celtic Composition
[up][up] But what you're describing there is exposition when you claim you give no exposition. Exposition isn't just worldbuilding, but also character establishment. That's not leaving the reader in the dark, like you said you were doing. Something like the opening of Final Fantasy XIII is leaving the reader (or player) in the dark.

edited 8th Oct '12 6:34:29 PM by TeraChimera

"The Uncertainty Principle isn't about uncertainty and it isn't a principle; other than that, it's perfectly named." — David Van Baak
16882 chihuahua08th Oct 2012 06:43:20 PM from Standoff, USA , Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Writer's Welcome Wagon
I just remembered that exposition seems to be one of the hot-button topics here.

Exposition is Serious Business!

edited 8th Oct '12 6:43:31 PM by chihuahua0

16883 MajorTom8th Oct 2012 07:00:55 PM , Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
I think we may need a topic to talk about that in the general writing sense. I'll make one tomorrow.

Because for the next 45 minutes of today I'm going to try and close out this chapter. No promises but I'm going to try.

After that I'm going to bed because it's getting late and I have work tomorrow morning.

edited 8th Oct '12 7:02:28 PM by MajorTom

"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
16884 TeraChimera8th Oct 2012 07:03:26 PM from somewhere out there
Cool Celtic Composition
On not-exposition: should I call the war that emerged from Operación Soberanía in my alternate history the Beagle War or something else?
"The Uncertainty Principle isn't about uncertainty and it isn't a principle; other than that, it's perfectly named." — David Van Baak
16885 Night8th Oct 2012 07:14:02 PM from PSNS Intrepid , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Bring it on! I'm right here!
It wouldn't be the least-appropriate name. (See also the Toyota War.)
Trusted Poster of Legitimate Advice (from Wo-Chan)
Seeking for Light
Public service announcement of the day: watch your word order! "All leaders are not good" (what was said) does not mean the same thing as "not all leaders are good" (what was, by all appearances, meant). (Brought to you courtesy of my management textbook.)
16887 ohsointocats8th Oct 2012 08:58:46 PM from The Sand Wastes , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Progress continues to be made. It's amazing what you can do when you're actually enjoying what you're working on.
16888 CrystalGlacia9th Oct 2012 08:27:39 AM from Cedarpointland
you may have heard of me
I think I have just created a religion with a holy book that is 90% cookbook.

wtf brain
16889 Noaqiyeum9th Oct 2012 09:11:32 AM from a thought-experiment gone horribly wrong , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
[up][lol]

Is it To Serve Man, by any chance? :D
16890 KillerClowns9th Oct 2012 09:20:33 AM from the Midwest , Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
is taken by a fey mood!
I think I have just created a religion with a holy book that is 90% cookbook.

This falls firmly into the category of "stories I have got to hear."
Dapper Gentleman
[up]I wholeheartedly agree. And what does it say about me that my reaction was far less "WTF" and far more "Ah, yes. Hmmm"?
"And every life is a special story of its own." —The Stargazer, Mass Effect 3
16892 ohsointocats9th Oct 2012 10:21:32 AM from The Sand Wastes , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
I think I have just created a religion with a holy book that is 90% cookbook.

Don't worry, I made one that's 90% Ikea instruction pamphlet.
16893 Parable9th Oct 2012 11:57:18 AM from California , Relationship Status: Star-crossed
Many Faces
[up]Instead of making a golden calf, they make a golden table?
You give me joy, You give me hope, You give me love that doesn't change.
16894 Noaqiyeum9th Oct 2012 01:56:49 PM from a thought-experiment gone horribly wrong , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
The it-thingy
[up][up]

And the Lord said unto Ingeborg, 'Thou shalt put Tab A only unto Slot A, the which I have commanded to you in days gone by, yet thou continuest to put Tab A unto Slot B, the which is an abomination in My sight, and therefore I shall cast you from the land of your fathers, and your blonde head shall go down to Sheol in sorrow.'
16895 MorwenEdhelwen9th Oct 2012 04:45:07 PM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
@Crystal Glacia: How does that work?
The road goes ever on. -Tolkien
16896 CrystalGlacia9th Oct 2012 06:03:21 PM from Cedarpointland
you may have heard of me
I have this guy named Vince who gains god powers and starts crafting his own world; after some practice, he goes all out and makes a stable ecosystem and an intelligent race of humans and stuff like that. He starts explaining to them about their world, they diligently write it down since he's their god and stuff, and 90% of what he talks about happens to relate to ways that the world can be exploited in the name of a good meal. As a result, his people revere two big things- intellectualism and mealtimes.
16897 nrjxll9th Oct 2012 06:09:26 PM , Relationship Status: Not war
[up]Funny, but I'd be careful about going too far with that.
16898 CrystalGlacia9th Oct 2012 06:21:11 PM from Cedarpointland
you may have heard of me
I don't even know if it'll get written or not; it takes place literally millions of years after any of my other plots. I just had a strange thought during APCS that, over the course of the next two periods, developed into... that.

EDIT: AAH THE POWER WENT OUT I'M SCARED. ; o ;

edited 9th Oct '12 6:40:13 PM by CrystalGlacia

16899 TeraChimera9th Oct 2012 08:00:33 PM from somewhere out there
Cool Celtic Composition
"The Uncertainty Principle isn't about uncertainty and it isn't a principle; other than that, it's perfectly named." — David Van Baak
16900 chihuahua09th Oct 2012 08:58:32 PM from Standoff, USA , Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!

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