Ice Storm & the Dreaded Information Dump

I like to weave little slices of dark history into my novels. Unfortunately, that usually means one thing…the dreaded information dump!

My Quest to Draw (Day 4): The Cube
My Quest to Draw (Day 4): The topic is “The Cube.” The bottom right drawing turned out to be a bit of a mess!

Ice Storm: 11 Days, 33,000 Words!

So, here we are…Day 11 of my “open novel” experiment for Ice Storm, aka my “Development Hell” book. I edited 1,500 words yesterday, bringing my redraft to a grand total of 33,000 words. By my estimate, I’ve got 57,000 words left to finish. The work required a lot of research and I found it quite interesting. Of course, research is usually far more interesting to the writer than it is to the reader. And that brings me to today’s topic…the dreaded “information dump.”

The Dreaded Information Dump!

Here’s the deal. The primary goal of the Cy Reed series is to provide entertainment. But I also hope to shed some light on the secret events and ideas that have influenced our world.

I love history, especially the dark stuff that normally gets ignored in the history books. That’s why so many of my Guerrilla Explorer posts are along the lines of “Thomas Edison…Kills an Elephant?“. Another type of history I enjoy involves the struggle over ideas such as The Debate that Rocked the World? (also known as the Socialist Economic Calculation Debate). Many of these debates are little known. And yet, they’ve completely changed out world.

Well, I needed to write about one such debate today. And it’s a particularly dark debate, one that took place decades ago and whose ramifications are still felt in modern society. I loved researching it. But writing it was difficult. Truth be told, it’s hard to relay factual information in an interesting way. Most writers just dump the information into a chapter, creating an information dump. Then they wash their hands and move on to the next scene.

Information dumps are often essential. And yet, I think most readers skim over them, eager to get back to the main story. So, I try to spice up my information dumps by pitting characters against each other. In yesterday’s work, Cy Reed squared off with a guy by the name of Aaron Jenner. Jenner believes something…unusual. Cy is shocked and even infuriated by Jenner’s opinions. And yet, Jenner is able to defend his position. Neither side wants to give into the other one and thus an information dump is transformed into a battle of wills.

By the way, if you haven’t already done so, head on over to Thriller Central to check out my article, Writer’s Guilt. Thriller Central is a terrific site, devoted to thriller and adventure fiction. There aren’t a lot of sites like this one so make sure to bookmark it.

Drawing: Day 4 – The Cube

I completed my 4th lesson from You Can Draw in 30 Days by Mark Kistler last night. It was about the cube and you can see the resulting page from my sketch book. This one wasn’t too bad but I kind of lost it at the end when I tried to sketch a box on end. I tried to widen the angles, to fit the visual imagery we normally expect from three-dimensional boxes. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out so well. This was a good lesson, especially since I was getting a little cocky after my success on Day 3. Now, I’m sufficiently humbled again.

Other Stuff

I’m up to 104 Facebook followers. Not that this is a huge deal, but it’s still fun to see that number grow. Also, I’m still thinking about making adjustments to my sidebar (that one on the right with Chaos in it). I might expand it to include international bookstores. And yes, that stupid link to buy Chaos at Diesel (see sidebar) is still broken. Diesel has a revised version of Chaos but doesn’t seem to have posted it yet. Finally, the Chaos paperback continues to be on sale for $13.25 at Amazon. Get it and review it!

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