Keys to Handling Exposition

Take my 1-week online class to learn ways to make exposition entertaining.

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In Hollywood, there is a saying: “Exposition = Death.” Why? Check out these comments:

Taylor Sheridan (“Hell or High Water”) said he learned how to write by taking note of what didn’t work. And he confessed, as a former actor, that he had plenty of practice working through bad material.

“I spent most of my time on TV shows kind of spewing exposition,” he said. “When I write I almost never use dialogue to move the plot forward because I understand painfully the traps. I try to have the lines tell you something about the character.”

The “traps” to which Sheridan refers are, I suspect, largely about the fact that nothing can slow down a story or cause a script reader’s eyes to glaze over more than reading a scene or scenes chock full of exposition: setting, information, data, backstory. I am reminded of David Mamet’s infamous memo to his writing staff on the TV series ‘The Unit’:

THERE IS NO MAGIC FAIRY DUST WHICH WILL MAKE A BORING, USELESS, REDUNDANT, OR MERELY INFORMATIVE SCENE AFTER IT LEAVES YOUR TYPEWRITER. YOU THE WRITERS, ARE IN CHARGE OF MAKING SURE EVERY SCENE IS DRAMATIC.

THIS MEANS ALL THE “LITTLE” EXPOSITIONAL SCENES OF TWO PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT A THIRD. THIS BUSHWAH (AND WE ALL TEND TO WRITE IT ON THE FIRST DRAFT) IS LESS THAN USELESS, SHOULD IT FINALLY, GOD FORBID, GET FILMED.

IF THE SCENE BORES YOU WHEN YOU READ IT, REST ASSURED IT WILL BORE THE ACTORS, AND WILL, THEN, BORE THE AUDIENCE, AND WE’RE ALL GOING TO BE BACK IN THE BREADLINE.

Nothing can bore readers more than the delivery of setting, information, data and backstory. Yet every script, play or story you write requires you to include exposition. What to do?

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That’s why I created the Screenwriting Master Class course Handling Exposition. In this unique 1-week online class, we will break down exposition into various types, then by analyzing numerous examples from well known movies, delve into six key principles and techniques on how to best handle it:

  • Exposition as Fascination

Plus 7 insider tips on working with exposition.

In addition, you can workshop exposition in your own stories using the principles and tips you learn in the course.

And the always popular Logline Workshop.

Thanks a million, Scott, for being there for us inspiring writers and for the practical, real and valuable learning experience that was hands down the best writing class I have ever taken. I was blown away by the creative and practical tools imparted from you in the Exposition Craft Class.

— Katalin Szonyi

This class definitely expanded my ability to deal with exposition in ways that I hadn’t considered before. The lectures, along with the accompanying examples, are a fantastic resource if you either struggle with exposition or are just looking for a new perspective.

— Calvin Starnes

The class consists of:

Seven lectures written by Scott Myers
Special insider tips
Daily forum Q&As
Workshop writing exercises with instructor and class feedback
A 90-minute live teleconference between instructor and class members

Trust me, you need to know how to handle exposition. That’s why I created this course. And this is the only time I’ll be teaching it in 2018!

That’s right, I’m offering this class just once this year.

So join me beginning Monday, February 5 for Handling Exposition, a 1-week immersion in this critical aspect of the screenwriting craft.

Enroll here!

Or have access to all 10 Craft Classes for nearly 60% off the regular price for The Craft Package.

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