December 01, 2020, 12:15:59 PM

Author Topic: Exposition at the start of each chapter. Yes or no?  (Read 2415 times)

Offline MammaMamae

Re: Exposition at the start of each chapter. Yes or no?
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2016, 01:25:34 PM »
It depends, for me.  All a matter of execution.

If the quotes and lore are evocative, it can send chills down my spine and help me get into a world.  The epigraph to LOTR is gorgeous, and - maybe the cheese stands alone here - I really like all the songs and poems worked into the story.  It feels organic.

Little, Big by John Crawley also uses quotes well at the beginning of chapters, though I'm not sure if that is lore so much at atmosphere - if there is even a distinction in that book.

The Fifth Season by NK Jemison inserts the lore this at the end of chapters, which I think is an awesome way to do it.  The quotes fill in little blanks, but also propels the reader forward with more questions.  And sometimes her quotes and lore are just so stunning and insightful that they would make good quotes by themselves.

But sometimes lore just feels like a lot of "stuff" that is hard to connect with the story.  I've tried getting into Robin Hobb's Rain Wilds several times and I just glaze over at all the quotes pre-chapter.  They don't seem to connect with anything, and they aren't particularly evocative so they don't raise any questions that make me want to know more either.

The best use of quotes and that type of exposition, IMO, is when it either partially fills in lore on something the reader is already interested in or when it subtly poses a question and makes the reader more curious.   

As for worldbuilding, I tend to like it trickled in rather than info dumped at once in the beginning.  I prefer the organic way, as long as I know enough to understand what is happening right now and don't feel disoriented.  Though once I'm into a story I don't mind a good info dump, because I care about the characters and want to know more about them and their world. 

Offline Elfy

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Re: Exposition at the start of each chapter. Yes or no?
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2016, 12:28:30 AM »
It can be quite hard to do, but what I think is more annoying than large expositions or info dumps (which can often be quite entertaining if they're done right) is regular trips through the Forest of Coincidence. One of the best and funniest examples of it was in an episode of Galavant.
I will expand your TBR pile.