Information Flow

Leah
5 min readDec 23, 2021

More Writing Technique

People who are familiar with my first drafts might be perplexed that I would try to write something about information flow when it comes to fiction. I do not always get information flow correct. I frequently will write a description out of order, starting with the last piece first then writing the first piece, then the middle. Then I’ll have to reorder them.

However, I think a lot about information flow in fiction, as well as the different types of information flow, particularly since I’m not the best at it.

Since I had knee replacement surgery, I’ve had some difficulty getting back to writing full time. Part of that is also due to this summer, during all the construction and moving, I wasn’t writing as much. This meant I was out of practice before I had surgery, and major invasive surgery has taken much longer for me to recover from than I expected.

This also means that some of the tricks I’d taught myself for writing are no longer automatic. Like information flow.

What exactly am I talking about when I say “information flow?” This phrase is used to describe more than one thing in terms of writing.

There’s the basic “what a character sees” sort of flow. Then there’s how you present information to the reader, answering their questions as they come up. The last type is more information management, what information you present to the reader as well as how you present information it.

Let’s start with the seven-point plot structure. The first point is a character. The second point is setting.

Quick aside — there’s a difference between description and setting. Description is merely what the character sees. Setting is not just what they see, but how they feel about it. Description can be deadly dull. Good setting can help drag the reader into the depths of your world and not let them up until it’s 2 AM and they’ve finished the book.

You would think that if you’re writing strongly from the point of view of a character, that you wouldn’t have information flow issues when describing a setting. For me, I tend to leap over all the other details to get to the part the character cares about most.

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Leah

Leah Cutter sold her first short story back in 1997, and continues to write and sell both her fiction and non-fiction. She supports herself with her writing.