I am taking a break from working on ze book to complain about someone else's book.
I won't name the book, much less the author, but golly, has it ground my gears!
See, the idea behind this book is genius. The world is SO COOL. The characters are so exciting! The plot--well, I don't actually know what the plot is yet, but there's promise!
But the author won't stop telling me things.
A new character enters from the sidelines. He's charming, he's sneaky, he has an interesting repartee with one of the main characters, but there's just something off about him! OMG what could it be? Maybe-
THEY USED TO BONE. HE WAS ONCE A DRUG DEALER.
Oh. Well, look at this other main character! He's strangely moved by a dramatic twist, but he's trying to keep his head! I wonder why-
'CAUSE THEY WERE SLEEPING TOGETHER BUT NOT IN LOVE BUT KINDA IN LOVE BUT IT'S COOL 'CAUSE SHE'S DEAD NAO.
Oh...okay. Oooh, look! A new player on the scene! She's upset and appears to be hungover! I wonder why-
HER FIANCE CHEATED ON HER SO SHE BROKE HER SOBRIETY OF YEARS.
Ah. Well, at least the main villain is a mystery! I wonder what he has to do with-
HE CAME FROM COLONIAL ENGLAND. HE STARTED EVERYTHING BY OPENING AN ANCIENT EGYPTIAN MAGICKY DOORWAY.
Huh. Well, the female MC has an interesting thing going on with the quiet tough guy. Maybe that will play out-
HE WAS A MAFIA HITMAN. THEY BONE SOMETIMES. THEY'RE NOT BONING RIGHT NOW.
Okay. Maybe, as the story keeps unfolding, we'll get to find out if they-
YES. THEY TOTALLY DO.
Sigh. Thank you, Author.
See, there is a delicious frustration in the unknown. A story loses all of its flavor when you take the mystery out. We, as readers, need to wonder what is going to happen--and what happened to get us to the starting point.
Sometimes--and I am loathe to say this--but sometimes infodump is necessary. Stretching everything out into a sublime twist and turn smoothie takes a long time, and there is only so much time that can be devoted to a single story. But neither can the author cram ALL the things into the blender and then cram the ENTIRE smoothie into the reader's mouth, and then rub the reader's throat until they swallow. That gets old real fast.
Implications are more fun than blunt statements. Implications tease the audience's imagination into active duty. Blunt statements suggest a suspected slowness on the audience's part.
Don't explain the joke. Don't answer the question before it's been properly asked. Don't take the thrill of the chase away from your reader.
And don't waste brilliant worlds and fantastic characters with shoddy writing.