Tl;dr: What do you think about starting chapters with a sort of "diary section", where we get a look into what has happened since the character's previous chapter? What are the ups and downs of using these? Have you done this?

So, I've recently finished the second draft of my fantasy story. One of the problems I've found (and not yet solved) is that many of my chapters start with a kind of information dump. Not necessarily big info dumps, just the normal paragraph or two about whatever information the readers needs.

Because my characters are almost always on the move, travelling from A to B, there are naturally a lot of "time gaps" in the story. When such a time gap occur (eg. the characters have been travelling for a couple of days), I use the previously mentioned info dumps to relay what has happened during these uneventful days. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong or bad about doing this, but I was thinking of a way to make it more interesting.

And so I thought about using a sort of "diary introduction" to chapters as a way of relaying this information. I can't remember any books that use such a thing, so please share if you do. Anyway, it was Abercrombie's The First Law series that gave me the idea. There, one of the character's chapters (Sand dan Glokta's), sometimes begin with letters. These letters are great for setting the scene, and work really well in my opinion. Instead of shifting to a "Two days had passed since bla bla bla, and now they were approaching their destination" type of paragraph, we get all this information in the character's voice.

I was thinking of doing this for one of my characters, but with a diary instead of letters. What are your thoughts about this? Does it sound like a good way of relaying information in the characters voice? Have you ever used this "technique"? Looking forward to reading your thoughts!

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Source: reddit post


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