Exposition

Exposition is the act of writing necessary information to the audience, so they can understand the purpose of your story. It is vital to give them specific information so they'll know what your story is about. This helps your audience become involved and stay interested because they know what's happening. It is often referred to as the business—or the action in a screenplay.

In the first ten minutes of any film you must give your audience information on what the film is about and who the main character is. Your craft as a writer is to keep your audience from walking out of the theater or turning off the television, while getting this information. And the information needs to flow and not be intrusive, but written as part of the screenplay, so it doesn't seem as if you're lecturing your audience.

Years ago, plays would often open with two servants discussing all the terrible things that had happened to the master or mistress of the manor. Obviously, this method is unacceptable and certainly dated. You don't want to use the greek chorus to tell the audience about your screenplay. Avoid other cliched methods of giving information. Be creative when you write exposition. Let your mind flow and think of unique and clever ways to give your audience vital and necessary information without being boring.

How do you write exposition in a way that won't lose your audience? You write it with conflict and dramatic action. This way your audience isn't aware you're giving them a lot of information. Let your characters discuss a problem, while racing a car or making love, which allows your audience to get the facts they need to know without being obvious.

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