It’s with great pride that I showcase “Consider the Sunflowers,” by longtime Newsletter subscriber and supporter, Elma Schemenauer. Anyone who has ever struggled with the proper blend of exposition within a dialogue exchange can turn to any page in her narrative and witness a master at work in this regard. It requires enormous skill to design the correct mix and refrain from redundancy. You’ll see in Elma’s book that her exposition is always written with purpose. I’m going to write an article on exposition written within dialogue exchanges with purpose in an upcoming Newsletter, it’s this important. I read a great deal of otherwise fine writing that desperately lacks the fabric which quality exposition provides. (I want to be certain to clarify what I mean by interior monologue. I’m referring to exposition and not stream-of-consciousness text or traditional interior monologue presaged by “he/she thought”).
Well-crafted exposition within dialogue exchanges can be utilized to present backstory, which is often overlooked when discussing flashback techniques, as dialogue is generally cited–and not what’s directly within the speech runs. Anyone taking the time to parse the text of CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS will quickly discover that she uses exposition within her dialogue runs to assist both her story’s pacing and the pitch of her scenes. For most writers, even experienced ones, the boundary for too much, or not enough, foreshadowing is a constant battle. In my opinion, Elma’s story is a perfect blend, and it’s a wonderful teaching medium related to this enormously important aspect of professional writing. And, frankly, it’s one element I always look at when reviewing a draft for editing, as the use of exposition withing dialogue exhanges clearly differentiates writing skill levels.