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Showing versus Telling

I have something of a dilemma... maybe someone has an idea... (and, heck, I need something to talk about to post today!)

Up front: I'm a *huge* fan of dialog. I love when characters talk to each other and do stuff, rather than having to read through descriptions... I'm more comfortable with writing dialog than descriptions, also, so maybe that has something to do with it.

I'm working on my Harry Potter time travel fic and I'm finding myself 'explaining' a lot of things. Some of it is context for what's going on, since it's after the war and the reader needs to have some clue of how things are. And, well, Harry has no one to talk to. He's Voldemort's captive (a reader will know that up front) and has no independence -- he's beaten and depressed.

It's only the very first draft, but I'm starting with 1800 words of description (with the outline I have at this point, I'm figuring this to go to 10K-ish, meep! maybe more).... there's a few lines of dialog in that but it's Harry POV and, well, he's not in a position to say much. At least not yet.

I am hoping that revising will help some of that... and this is a faintly different genre than I've written lately... I've done so much fluffy stuff lately that I thought this would be a good stretch...

Okay, let's see if I can get Harry to say a few more words tonight... ;-)

This entry was originally posted at http://goddess47.dreamwidth.org/42361.html. Comment here or there as you please.
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Comments

I'm having the same problem. I'm working on a story in which the protagonist is alone at a point in time I need to share information. I can recount the information as a memory. That's the only way I can avoid making it a ton of exposition.

Poor Harry. He sounds like he's in a tough spot! :D
Yes, poor Harry! Lots of hurt before the comfort...

Maybe I can scare up a couple of memories to break up the exposition... that's a thought!

Thanks!
I like sgamadison's idea of recounting a memory.

Could Harry be so lonely that he either hallucinates (and chats) or, idk, makes a 'friend' out of a rock or something? There could be a spell that acts kind of like a Pensieve, with Harry re-living certain things (without actually removing the memories or having to put them somewhere).

You could you write the whole fic with an internal narrative (Harry as narrator), or at least from his general POV, with little things he sees/smells/hears/tastes/touches "reminding" him of things you need exposition on (and then he elaborates, even if it's anecdotal).
Hmmm... the hallucination piece might have potential, also!

Or the 'talking to himself' option might have a place I can use, but I have Harry being paranoid about being watched all the time... he's not sure who's watching what he's doing...

Thanks!!! Those are good ideas!