Friday, 28 February 2014

Exposition is a Hungry Monster

...it eats up many of the scenes I try to write. Maybe I should try starting in the middle of things, after the inciting incident, where people are interested enough to actually care what the hex is going on. At least, that's what Richard Rose of Tarragon Theatre suggested during a talk back today via relating his experience with King Lear. And although I very much agree that excessive exposition in a story/ script/ whatever can kill something that actually has a lot of potential, I can't seem to get away from indulging it.

The problem with writing a story, or a script, or a life for that matter, is that something has to happen. And how do you reach that moment of happening, or even that healthy habit of action, what is strong enough to bring that happening into being? Certainly not my lazy gel of body, soul, spirit that would rather stay in bed half an hour more than get up, make a decent breakfast, and get to school five minutes before class starts. It's the worst, checking the clock twenty minutes after rolling over, throwing on yesterday's clothes, grabbing an apple from the fridge, and having to apologize to your students for showing up after they've been sitting there for five minutes with nothing to work on and an uneasy silence filling the room. That's the best I can do these days, besides talk, or walk downtown in a sweater, and then have my friend feel bad for me and lend me a proper jacket. And that's just the everyday occurrences. When there's a whole 'nother world with different rules and new technology and fun backstory, or even just presenting two characters and their complicated relationship, how can I render it without using exposition?

Exposition is a hungry monster. It's going to eat me out of house and novella unless I can cage it up for later, when people might actually care to feed him some attention.