Expository Gruel

(Not a foodblogging post.)

I had a disappointing experience recently, reading a new book by a writer whose earlier work I had enjoyed a lot.

It was a sequel to an earlier book, and in the new book he needed to restate some of the backstory and world-data that had been presented, pretty successfully, in the first book.

And it... didn't quite work out as well in the second book. Clearly the writer was trying to incorporate the info smoothly into the action of the new book, but...

...but while there weren't any specific passages that I could point to and say, "This is an expository lump," I couldn't help but notice that the writer was inserting backstory information into the new story. It was just obvious enough that it kept me from fully focusing on the new book's story.

I was mentioning this the other day, when Hilde and I went to breakfast with some other people, and described it as "expository gruel".

"Hmmm. I like that," one of the other people at the table said. "That could be a very useful expression."

So, here you go: "Expository gruel", tossed free into the blogosphere for anyone who finds it worth using.

1 comment:

talpianna said...

This is what Jenny Crusie calls "infodump." The problem with your metaphor is that gruel is smooth, not lumpy--it's basically more or less like Cream of Wheat.