The Hobbit and infodumps

Which is to say, I was looking at the Hobbit, and that right there is quite an infodump.  Pages and pages about hobbit holes and the like, and why do we put up with it? It’s charming. It breaks a lot of rules, that book.

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2 thoughts on “The Hobbit and infodumps

  1. But it’s such a lovely piece of story telling, and I think that’s the thing we all need to keep in mind as writers. Readers will put up with a lot if the story speaks to them. It also proves that you can totally get away with any amount of rule-breaking, like telling instead of showing, for pages and pages, all providing there is a compelling story. It’s my fervent belief that if one truly understands the rules of any craft, you are permitted to break them as needed to get where you want to be.

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  2. Yes, I think that’s the nugget there. Though Tolkien apparently wasn’t so hot in the outlining department – I remember reading that he got bogged down with the LOTR at several points and it took him a few years to finish it. Then again, it’s LOTR… that’s got quite a scope there.

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