When exposition is necessary in a story

Of course, sometimes exposition is necessary for expediency’s sake. But it should appear sparingly. A quick sentence noting some historical event or a common trait of an alien species is fine. After all, on that rare occasion, showing rather than telling would add far too much length to a story. If falling into this situation, remember to only include just the amount of exposition that is needed to move the story forward.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.