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Old 2 Weeks Ago (09:04 AM).
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In this I wish to address some problems I find in writing fiction, the title only reveals one of them. In other mediums, such as TV and Films for two examples, this isn't really a problem, the way of avoiding a narrative block for the sheer purpose of explaining the world to your reader is notoriously uninteresting. The most common appearance is in Sci-Fi or Fantasy, a world your reader doesn't know, to engage in a story you need to have them engaged in the world. A big way visual narrative mediums avoid boring their audience is by delivering their exposition by visuals but this is almost impossible in fiction, as by showing them the visual you are telling them and therefore expositing. This I find very difficult to get around.

In "Show, Don't Tell" principles include 3 main ways of showing the audience without telling them: Actions, Description, and Implication.
Actions: Showing a person is strong physically could be used like this. "X moved the heavy crate away from the door" instead of "X is very strong and could easily move the crate away from the door."
Description: Showing somewhere is old could be used like this: "The cracked and weary stones of the castle were grey and bleak from time immemorial." instead of "There was a very old church
Implication: Implying that a fight had gone on relies on the audience to infer what has happened. "In the arena, the sand was coated with dark blood, in the sand a large indentation of a human figure." instead of "In the Arena, it was clear a fight had happend x hours ago" (This is hard to explain with examples, so I might not be entirely correct.)

Well, at this point you may be thinking that this is alright and easily bypassed. But consider this, you are a writer and you are interested in being social concious and influential in your writing, or more simply, you may want to convey meaning and morality. So you want to add in a person of a minority. The exception to this problem is the female minority as the "he/she" solves this. But let us say that you want to create a character of a racial minority. If you follow a Show, Don't Tell principle this pressures you to instate stereotypes of that minority in their actions. Additionally, if you want to do a description of this character and say that their skin or whatever other characteristic that shows their race is prescent, you are, by trying to include a minority character in your fiction, pointing them out as something that is noticably different. By pointing them out, you are saying that they are abnormal and obviously as such by your character or the general society of the book. Lastly, if in this description you show that their racial marking (for ease I will be using the example of a black-skinned individual) through a simile, e.g. Their skin was like dark chocolate. That right there could be considered offensive.

The summary:
How can writers avoid exposition with the restrictions of solely words and not visual art?
How can we show our audience with visuals rather than explanation.
How can writers include a minority character (to involve a sense of social conciousness) without pointing it out and being offensive?

This topic is intended to be kept serious. I apologize if this was confusing. I cannot involve every single aspect of this issue but I hope this has shown you what I mean.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago (10:43 AM).
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Alright, I LOVE this question! I'm probably not the best at tackling these problems, but I'd like to think I'm fairly strong in this area. Here's my answers to these questions.

How to avoid exposition?

It's absolutely vital not to start with a prologue. Don't explain the history of the world or your characters. Instead, start by putting your character in an interesting moment, whether it's an accident, or a hunting trip, something that feels tense to the reader. Save the expository details for later in the story, when you can sprinkle them in. If your character has suffered a traumatic injury, it's best to show the injury and leave the reader just enough clues to piece it together for themselves. As for world history, this is best done through the setting. Your setting, if done right, invariably provides clues about the world's history.

How can we show audiences with visuals rather than explanation?

I'm going to assume you mean imagery here, instead of putting pictures in stories. I like to visualize scenes in my head, then write down the details. Instead of saying that someone died, show the blood spurting out of his neck. If you have a hard time visualizing the scene, then I suggest looking for art on the internet, and use that as a reference for creating your scene.

How can writers include a minority character (to involve a sense of social conciousness) without pointing it out and being offensive?

Directly stating their description would seem discriminatory. I myself haven't had to grapple with this problem. Wait, no, I lied. That was with half-demons marked by animalistic traits, so I didn't quite run into that problem. However, here's a couple tricks I used. One, have the character act to hide their appearance, with baggy clothing, make-up, platform shoes, etc. I had my character speak with a piece of leather in his beak so it wouldn't click every time he spoke. Another is through the dialogue of other characters, having them call your character racial names that clue the reader into their appearance. I'm not an expert on racial stereotyping and philosophy, but I believe it's best not to have the narrator state anything about your characters' ethnicity, gender, etc, rather, it should be shown through the characters' actions.

I hope this helps any writers looking to improve their work.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago (11:06 AM).
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How can writers avoid exposition with the restrictions of solely words and not visual art?
It's all about timing the information you're giving. You have to give just enough information to keep the story moving forward, without giving away too much. Since the information is relevant right then and there, it's much easier to work it into the story, and imply it through showing. If you're struggling to fit a lot of information in, odds are, it's not all necessary. It's a balance of withholding information until the right point to let it escape.

How can we show our audience with visuals rather than explanation.
I ask the question, "can the camera see it?" It's not a perfect exercise, but it helps a lot. If you want to get across that your main character is this really likable guy, then you have to think about how the camera would pick it up. Take, How to Train Your Dragon, as an example. You could simply say, "Hiccup didn't have the best relationship with his dad as he struggled to find his place in the village", but it wouldn't mean anything. Instead, they show the relationship through arguments, discussions, Hiccup sneaking out of the house despite his dad's orders, and so on and so forth. If you're telling and not sure what to do, ask yourself if the camera could see it. It's all about visual examples.

How can writers include a minority character (to involve a sense of social conciousness) without pointing it out and being offensive?
I think the answer is to not imply anything at all, to any character. Well, gender is an obvious exception, but don't imply a character's race at all. Let the reader decide how they look. A woman approached J.K. Rowling and told her that she could see all of the characters so clearly. When asked how she saw they characters, she described Neville as a black guy with long dreads. If the movie is anything to go by, then that's just about the opposite of what he really looks like, but it didn't matter. You wouldn't describe a person who isn't a minority, so any description claiming that they are isn't really good. Just let the reader decide how they look like.

Of course, if race is a conflict, then it's necessary to bring it in. If it's not essential to the plot, then don't expand upon it.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago (01:11 PM). Edited 2 Weeks Ago by Sir General Admiral Fancy Swank.
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I wish to say that this isn't a direct problem but rather a problem with transferring aspects from other media, the last question comes from a certain problem I found when watching this video from YouTube that talks about games. I do wish to say that the problem is less to do with fantasy races but real racial differences, likewise minority character includes sexuality diversity, and such. the main reason I included it is because of this video. By the way this is about video games, but I think they are the most effective at tackling these issues. Link to video.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago (09:03 AM).
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How can writers avoid exposition with the restrictions of solely words and not visual art?

I think you don't want to avoid exposition, per se. It just needs to be subtle. As a broad example: rather than telling your reader that in X Fantasy Land everyone is oppressed by the tyrannical ruler, show that in the people of the story. Have them be beaten down and weary in how they look, have them be afraid to speak out, have whispers of rebellion sewn in here and there. Show the effects that your exposition has on the setting and plot, rather than just having it there.

How can we show our audience with visuals rather than explanation?


I think you touch upon this nicely in your post, with your 'old' example. It's about unpacking your description, like you describe church rather than simply saying it's old. Avoid vague summaries like 'it's hot' and show the effect of this on your characters, 'she was sweating' or 'he fanned himself with a leaflet'.

How can writers include a minority character (to involve a sense of social conciousness) without pointing it out and being offensive?

I don't think it's an issue to give the colour of a character's skin, and I disagree with avoiding ethnicity altogether. As long as you're not resorting to stereotypes or purposely being offensive, there shouldn't much of an issue. If you visualise a character as of black African or South East Asian descent then I believe it's perfectly acceptable to describe them as such. That's who the character is. If they're in a real world setting, then be sure to put research into the type of cultural background they come from, that way you can prevent yourself from including offensive stereotypes.

With other minority groups I think it's a similar thing. For example, as long as you're not including gay, lesbian, bisexual or transsexual characters as a gimmick or a plot point (unless your plot happens to focus on issues within this community) that's fine. The thing to remember is to write your characters as people, not types. As a gay man myself, I only get annoyed if a character has a 'gay friend' to prove that they are awesomely tolerant and accepting.

So yeah, write people and not types, and then everything will be cool.

I feel like it's also pertinent to mention that a character having racist/homophobic/offensive opinions is not the same as the author holding these opinions. It is okay to include these kind of characters, as long as you're not trying to offer their outlook as your own, and the fact they're being offensive/kind of douche is addressed.
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