What You Need to Know to Write Exposition Like a Pro
Expositional scenes can be clunky and boring, but here are some pro tips on how to make them work.
Clunky expositional scenes—you know 'em when you see 'em. Many times they come as speeches full of detailed information about an important aspect of the story, which, unfortunately, are often tedious, heavy-handed, unpleasant moments that take audiences out of the story. Avoiding this awkward force-feeding of crucial info can be tricky if you don't know a few creative storytelling techniques, but StudioBinder shares a few with you in the video below to help you write expositional scenes like a pro.
We all know the cinematic axiom, "it's better to show than tell," and while that's true in most cases, sometimes telling is unavoidable. Think about scenes that introduce complicated scientific or medical explanations, explain highly-detailed plans (like in heist movies), or simply share information that will come into play later on—they all will most likely require an expositional scene.
However, you don't have to settle for a boring block of dialogue. The key to writing a great expositional scene is motivation. If you give the scene a purpose and/or visual aesthetics, you've already made it better and easier to consume. Also, keep in mind that audiences are smart—they'll understand pretty much any sophisticated concept you put in front of them, so simplify, avoid over-explaining, and use metaphors when you can.
People don't watch movies to be lectured, so get creative when penning your expositional scenes. If you don't, these clunky moments will bring your film, and your audience's interest, to a grinding halt.