SimpleMarkup #97 – The Absence of Exposition

Whoa, it’s been hot this week, and apparently it’s going to be like an open-air barbeque this weekend for parts of the mainland USA. Stay cool, people! I’ve taken to eating frozen strawberries during the day, and I’ve dusted off my Yonanas machine so that I can have guilt-free dessert to cool off.

My brain is entering party mode, as this weekend we have a birthday party at our house. I’m doing fast food—good ole pizza, hot dogs, and fruit—so my main worry is the cake, which I’ll start on Friday night and finish up on Saturday. Follow my personal Instagram for cake updates if you’re curious!

This week’s comic deals with something that comes up now and then with authors, wherein they spend loads of time creating a very extensive set of supplemental material that details everything needed to know about the world their book is set in. It’s admirable, it’s an achievement, it’s usually pretty impressive.

It’s also unfortunately not going to be read by most readers.

A typical reader will just want to read the book. They want to dive in with the characters, experience their story, go on the adventure, and they depend on the author to subtly build the world around them. Most don’t want to be handed a separate character bible or a guide on how to learn an in-universe language, especially if they don’t even know if they like the book yet.

Most of that information needs to be actually in the book. And I’m not talking info-dumping or clonking readers over the head with a world-building anvil. Present, yet not loud and obvious.

Have a great rest of your week!

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