I’ve been thinking a lot about info dumping lately. It’s generally frowned upon, I know, but sometimes there’s no easy way to work a definition of something into the narrative or into a conversation without sounding forced. I like to try to feed my reader information gradually. I feel like if all the answers are provided up front, the narrative gets lost, and all the reader is left with is pages and pages of backstory, explanation and exposition and what the character is actually DOING in that moment is pushed to the side.
I’m becoming a fan of the info snippet. The, “She’d been a falconler for the past three of her nineteen years.” Just slipped that age in there, but it wasn’t really worked in, not so that someone said, “You’re only nineteen” or something like that. I don’t mind the occasionally telling in a narrative if it’s just something the reader needs to know. I just think it’s important not to slip too much in at the beginning. If you want to tell everything about the character in the first chapter, I think a lot of that information is going to get forgotten, and you’ll just have to remind the reader later.
Of course, that could be me and my general laxness in writing descriptions at times. I like to be in the heart of the action, and to only be away from the immediacy of a situation for short bursts.