I’ve spent plenty of time here talking about how to avoid over-communicating your world. There’s a good reason for this, which any gamer or reader or viewer knows – a giant infodump is distracting and reminds one they’re experiencing fiction. You can build a great world, but when you step out from behind the curtain to overexplain it, people become disengaged.
If you’re a person who peruses media, then you’ve also experienced the reverse of the infodump; people who don’t describe their world enough. As distracting as infodumps are, at least something is there to grasp, even if there’s so much you can’t get your hands around it. When there’s not enough information on what’s going on in the world, readers or players are just lost.
You can drown in too much information, or have such a drought of knowledge your interest withers and dies.
As of this writing, I feel like I’ve seen less well-explained worldbuilding in media over the years. Less attempts to bring me into the world, less attempts to connect or engage. I start craving a good infodump because at least I know something is there before I get overwhelmed and my eyes glaze over.
Why? Well let’s explore the reasons people might not explain their world enough.
Here’s what I’ve found.