Noun: 1: the setting forth as of meaning or purpose (as of a writing)
2:a) a discourse or an example of it designed to convey information or explain what is difficult to understand.
b)1. The first part of a musical composition in sonata form in which the thematical material of the moviement is presented.
2. the opening section of a fugue
Adjective: 3: A public exhibition or show.
these definitions were supplied by Merriam Dictionary online http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exposition?show=0&t=1305872281
So, I am guilty of lots of exposition and backstory. Just read the aforementioned Rebellion on Piza 7 and see what's left. That's after cutting it down! Early in my writing career, the few editors/agents who gave me feedback said to much exposition and backstory.
I want everyone to know everything up front than Kablam! elimination. Lack of education. Okay, sorry for that rabbit trail through Disney's Fox and the Hound. But my point is my tendency for trying to explain everything up front meant no book expos for me! Killed my story in its tracks even though all of my stories are good. But the trick is to walk the reader through it so they can be properly appreciative of the good.
If there's too much back story and too much explanation they will be bored to tears. However, we also need some explanation. Finding that balance in the beginning is the hardest part of writing for me. (subbing, it's querying, but I'm not going there. I'd prefer a nightmare free night, thank you!) I want everyone to understand immediately all the bits and pieces that you can really give later.
So, in fixing that flaw in my writing character, I've gone to far the other way and have found myself putting stuff in :P rather interesting change for me.
I now go too far the other way! Like everything else, it's about balance.
As a reader, do you prefer your eplanations in the beginning? I find that I do like lots of details in certain genres and not others. Why is that? Or am I just weird?
As a writer, how do you handle setting up the story? Are you good at finagling the information in so it's sort of absorbed and doesn't come off as an info dump? Or do you need to practice, as I do?
And how do you know if you don't have a good critique partner? By good, I don't mean that y'all agree on EVERYTHING. That doesn't make you think or assess your work. I mean one who can say I don't like this because... or it feels wrong... or this bores me to tears...or this is awesomesauce and don't you go and change it! Someone who is willing to give you positive feedback as well as negative. If you don't have someone like that keep looking, you'll find them. Just be patient. In the meantime, take what help you find and apply it!
I'm forever thankful for those editors who took the time to explain things to me and for those editors/agents who still do!! A big thank you to all you editors and agents who help all newbie writers to become the best they can be!