16 April 2019

As you know, Bob

We are hard at work on the marvelous May 31, 2019 issue of Electric Spec. (The submission deadline was yesterday, April 15. But you can submit now for the August 2019 issue.) We are going through the slush pile.

I recently read a story that had quite a bit of 'As you know, Bob...' dialogue. This is a crutch whereby the author is telling the reader something in the story that the characters already know. It reads as very unnatural and stilted. For example, "As you know, the lizard king hatches from an egg, so we are going to look for the egg cache." Don't do this. It's a variety of info-dump.

It's so easy to avoid! Just make one or more of your characters more ignorant. :) For example, "Where are the lizard eggs?"

A good way to test for this is to read only your dialogue out loud. Does it sound like a conversation? Does it make sense? Does it impart needed information? If not, consider trimming it.

We'll start bragging on the new issue is about two weeks...

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