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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > April 2017 > AVOID THE INFODUMP


Back story is essential to flesh out your story, but how do you convey it without slowing down your opening pages’ pace? Margaret James has some answers

Those vital first pages of a novel – what should always and what should never be in them?

It’s going to depend on what kind of novel you are writing, but there are a few things most of us should probably avoid when trying to hook new or even faithful readers.

It can be very tempting to start a new story by giving your reader an overview of the situation to date, and/or a potted history of the central character or even characters. This kind of thing is called information dumping and is guaranteed to put most readers right off.

When we start to read a novel, most of us want to be drawn into the action with the very first sentence or at least the very first paragraph, not have to wade through pages of essentially static narrative before anything actually happens.

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WIN!! More than £500,000 of writing prizes in your free Competition Supplement, with information about hundreds of writing competitions for you to enter in 2017 Find out how you can apply the winning formula to your writing: • How to win writing competitions • Short story structure made simple • Reach 'The End' of your novel Also in this issue, read our star interview with bestselling 'Me Before You' author Jojo Moyes on writing romance the modern way, and find out if crowdfunding might be the smart new way to publish your book. • Writers News is 20 packed pages of news you can use, including 30 paying markets and 51 opportunities to get your writing into print. asasaasasasass

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