Exposition is a literary term that refers to the opening of a story. It’s basically the beginning of a story, where you’re introduced to characters, their personalities and the setting.

The exposition is typically in the form of dialogue and action that lets you see what’s going on in the story.

Exposition can be considered a type of narrative because it tells about events that have happened or are about to happen.


What Is exposition

What Is exposition?

Exposition in a screenplay is the term used to describe any information that has to be given to the audience.

Expanding on this, exposition can also mean any information presented by a character or narrator.

The word exposition is often confused with description, but it’s actually not the same thing.

An example of description would be if a character had a broken leg and the writer were to say: “John walked with a limp.” This would describe how John walks.

An example of exposition would be if another character said, “John broke his leg playing football last week.” This would tell the reader what happened to John’s leg and when it happened.

Exposition is especially common in bad screenwriting and novel writing.



When writing a screenplay, it’s very important that you organize your story so that exposition flows naturally into the fabric of your story.

It’s best to keep any exposition short and sweet so that your audience doesn’t get bored with your movie.

Too much exposition can make your screenplay feel like an infomercial, or like too much ‘hand holding’ of audience members.

We see this in lots of B-movies (especially older B-movies), as well as bad Hollywood.

A great way to figure out how much exposition you need in each scene is to ask yourself what information does my audience needs to know in order for them to follow this scene?

If you can’t think of anything then maybe that scene should go or you should cut back on some of the information.

What Is Exposition?

Exposition usually takes place at the beginning of a book, movie or play. There are times when exposition occurs in mid-story as well, but this is done less often.

It may also be called “background information” or “back story.”

In fiction writing, exposition may be used as a way to allow readers to become familiar with situations before they take place.

This occurs mostly in mystery and suspense stories, where there might be character development taking place right before the crime is committed.

In this case, the author won’t want to reveal too much about the crime or about how it takes place until later in the story.

Exposition usually does not occur during action scenes because there’s no time for it; rather, it’s used at points where there is downtime for one reason or another.

What Is Exposition Used For?

Exposition is used for a lot of different things in the world of fiction. There is the big idea exposition, which is the introduction of a critical plot point; and then there are character exposition scenes, which are used to fill in an important backstory element.

Exposition is something that every writer has to deal with at some point in their work. It’s necessary, but it can be tricky to do right.

The main thing writers have to be careful about when introducing exposition is that they don’t take the reader out of their story. If you’re getting ready to use exposition, here are some pointers that might come in handy for you:

Don’t give it all away at once. Exposition isn’t just about recapping events from past books or critical plot points; it’s also about giving your readers a sense of the characters who populate your book. Exposition allows writers to set up their characters’ motivations and relationships, as well as explain why they’re acting a certain way in your story.

It should be woven into your story as naturally as possible. This can be tricky, because when you’re writing, you want to make sure you’re getting all the exposition right so everything makes perfect sense to your reader. 

What Is Exposition Of A Story

Exposition is that part of a story where you explain to the audience all the background information they need to know to understand what’s going on in the story.

It’s like the opening scenes of any book or movie: What is the setting? Who are the characters? What is the overall problem that needs to be solved?

Exposition is necessary because when you’re writing a story, you can’t assume everyone knows all of this information. You need to lay it out for your reader so that they understand why your characters are doing what they’re doing and why things are happening the way they are.

Exposition can take many forms, but at its most basic, it’s simply telling. If you’re telling a friend about a book you read, you would probably just say a few things like, “Well, there were these sisters who were orphans and they lived in New York and they were poor.”

You don’t spend a lot of time describing everything in great detail because your friend already has a good idea of what an orphan looks like and how people live in New York City. Instead, you just give her the basic information she needs to understand what’s going on.

Exposition can be done in dialogue as well as narration. 

Exposition Examples In Writing

Exposition is a fancy term for explaining a topic. When you write an exposition, you’re explaining something. Unlike narration or description, exposition is always told from the third-person point of view.

Telling a story in exposition means explaining the who, what, when, where and why of something. Exposition is generally easier to write than narration because you’re not using any dialogue or action to tell your story. Instead, you are describing the scene with words only.

There are three types of exposition that are used in writing: summary exposition, direct exposition and indirect exposition.

Summary Exposition

Summary exposition is a brief explanation of the main idea of a passage. Summary exposition doesn’t give detailed descriptions or explanations but gives sufficient information to understand the general idea of it all.

It’s usually used at the beginning of a passage or before an important event happens.

The author uses it to set up the scene so they can focus on the more important aspects of their story later on.

Direct Exposition

Direct exposition gives specific details about specific events or characters in a story. It’s useful for providing details about something that happened earlier in the story or about what someone does for work or other details that need to be explained in order for people to understand what happened.


Exposition Examples In Screenplays

Exposition is information given to the audience by a character. It can range from a few words to an entire speech. It can be delivered through dialogue or narrative description, or it can be visualized through action or camera movement.

Exposition is information given to the audience by a character. It can range from a few words to an entire speech.

Exposition can be delivered through dialogue or narrative description, or it can be visualized through action or camera movement.

Actors who deliver exposition in movies often speak directly to the audience, as if they were talking directly to each viewer. Sometimes they will break the fourth wall, looking directly into the camera and speaking directly to the viewers in their homes.

Exposition is important in screenplays because it gives the audience vital information about characters and concepts that would otherwise remain unknown. It allows them to understand what is happening in the story and why it matters, so that they don’t get confused and give up on watching before the end of the movie.

Exposition comes in many forms, but there are two main types: diegetic and non-diegetic.

Exposition Examples In Films

Exposition is the literary device used in movies to convey information. It is a stylistic choice most often found in screenplays, but it also occurs in novels, short stories and other narrative forms.

This writing technique can be a powerful tool for creating interesting characters and situations. It can also be an annoying crutch that relies on telling rather than showing.

For example, Star Wars Episode 2 – Attack Of The Clones

In the Star Wars films, exposition is often handled through dialog, such as when Obi-Wan Kenobi begins explaining to Anakin Skywalker about his mother and the relationship between Jedi Knights and the Galactic Republic.

In the original trilogy, exposition was delivered with a visual style that relied on characters telling one another what they already knew. For example, while escaping from Tatooine in Episode 4: A New Hope, Luke Skywalker narrates to R2D2 what he thinks happened to his missing droid during the scuffle with Jawas.

However, the prequel trilogy changed this approach by introducing more visual exposition that revealed plot points without relying on characters explaining them to each other. For example, when Anakin has dinner with his secret wife Padme Amidala, we see a number of shots that reveal their marriage to us.

Visual Exposition Examples

Visual Exposition examples are used to present and persuade the audience to believe in a certain point of view. It is used in films, TV shows, documentaries and advertisements.

There are several important features of a visual exposition.

The first is the use of a narrator to tell the story visually. The narration should be short; it should not take more than 10 seconds per screen.

The next feature is the use of still photos, or images that are placed on top of each other. These images should not have any text on them, just images.

The reason for this is that the viewer’s brain processes visual information faster than it does text information; therefore, using images allows the viewer to process that information faster than if there was text on it.

The third feature is captions, which are placed at the bottom of the screen, above the images that they describe and tell you what you’re seeing without having to read it first. 

A good example of this would be a documentary about animals in Africa. The narrator could talk about what’s going on in one scene and then show you a photo or video clip that illustrates his point.

This would allow the viewer to see what’s going on with minimal distractions.

Four Visual Exposition Techniques

Tension and Release: Tension and release is an exposition technique that gives you a way to build up tension in your story through scenes or chapters by introducing conflict, and then releasing it before the conclusion of the scene or chapter.

This can be used effectively in any storytelling medium to manipulate the emotions of the audience to give them a sense of what is at stake.

This method should be used sparingly as too much tension and release can bore the audience and leave them feeling exhausted.

The rule of three: The rule of three is a simple technique in which you use three items (or events) to create a pattern that will help your audience follow along with your story.

This rule can be applied using threes in each individual part of your story such as the introduction, middle, and end; or it can be used in each stage of character development; or any other pattern that you’d like to follow.

This method is great for beginners because it gives you a clear structure to follow so that your story has a clear introduction, middle, and ending.

The Purpose Of Exposition

Exposition is the background information necessary for the reader to understand the story. It’s a necessary part of any story or novel.

Telling vs. showing: Telling is when you’re explaining something in your own words while showing is when you’re using dialogue, action, and description to reveal the character and plot in a scene.

Exposition can be used effectively to move the plot along, develop characters, and keep your readers interested. The trick is knowing how much exposition to give so that you don’t overwhelm your readers with too much information and bore them by repeating what they already know.

When To Use Exposition:

There are three main reasons to use exposition: to reveal important information that the reader needs to know, to develop characters, and to move the plot along.

Exposition can be used effectively when it reveals something new about a character or when it develops one of your characters at a turning point in their lives. It can even be used as a form of foreshadowing for future events in a story if handled carefully.

How To Use Exposition Effectively:

If you want to use exposition effectively, then you must make sure that the exposition is relevant and that it moves the plot along instead of just being a history

Exposition Meaning In Narration

Exposition is a literary technique for revealing important background information about a story. It can be done through dialogue, description, or narration.

The information might be historical, cultural, religious, or any other kind of knowledge that the audience needs to understand the story.

Exposition is not an inherently bad thing. It can help to establish the setting, tone and atmosphere of a story.

It can also give context to the events that will take place in the plot. Sometimes it can even be used to heighten the tension of a scene by giving hints of future events or foreshadowing possible conflicts.

Think of exposition as a way to enrich your story and make it come alive for readers.

However, there are two pitfalls that writers should avoid when using exposition: info dumps and infodumps. An info dump is large amounts of unneeded background information that interrupt the flow of the story with excessive details.

Infodumps have all of these problems plus more: they’re boring and repetitious in their attempt to explain every aspect of a concept or character, they contain too much information for readers to absorb in one place, and they don’t add anything new to the story’s plot or themes. 

Deliver Exposition Through Dialogue

In the movie industry, exposition is a term that refers to narrative information that has to be conveyed to the audience. There are a few different ways that this can be done.

In fact, there are three main ways that filmmakers communicate information to the audience.

Exposition in film can be delivered through dialogue, narration, or visuals. Each of these methods has its benefits and drawbacks.

Dialogue is an excellent way to deliver exposition because it allows characters to interact with one another, which allows for natural conversation and character development.

Narration is best when it’s used sparingly because it tends to sound unnatural when overdone. Visuals are great at delivering information quickly but they don’t allow for much character interaction or development.

Delivering exposition through dialogue is the best way to go because it’s more natural and relatable for viewers than narration or visuals. Dialogue allows characters to speak about the situation at hand rather than a narrator explaining what’s happening or what happened in long-winded monologues.

Narration is good only if you’re trying to convey information quickly and make a point without any sort of elaboration or explanation from characters. If you’re doing this, your audience will likely tune out before they even finish listening. 

Tips For Writing Great Exposition

The exposition of a story is the beginning of it, and the exposition of your brand should be the same way. It’s the information you provide in order to give the reader a chance to get to know you.

If you were writing a novel, an exposition would be a few paragraphs that introduce your main characters. If you were writing a poem, it would be like your first stanza.

The exposition is all about giving people enough information to feel comfortable with who you are and what you are offering them.

Exposition is also called “background”, because it provides background for what comes later. It’s what lets readers know what is going on, so they can get into the meat of the story or understand why your brand exists.

Exposition also gives readers some context for your brand and why they should care about it. This doesn’t have to take up lots of space, but it helps if people understand why they should check out what you’re saying before they do so.

Here are four tips for writing great exposition:

Use action words and compelling details to draw people in right away. Exposition isn’t just sentences that provide facts — it also appeals to readers’ emotions and senses. Use active verbs like “created” or “opened”.

Have Characters Argue About The Exposition

I have a question: have you ever had characters argue about the exposition? By exposition, I mean the background information that you need to provide for your story.

It could be an explanation of worldbuilding details. It could be the information needed to understand why the character is going from point A to point B.

None of my protagonists are ever arguing about these issues with each other. They’re too busy making sure their pants stay on and the other people in the room aren’t trying to kill them.

That’s because exposition isn’t a top priority in a fight scene.

Exposition isn’t a top priority any other time either, except when it’s being provided by someone who’s not in danger of getting killed—a narrator, or a character who isn’t fighting at all (the scientist who explains how the monster works, for example).

But even then, the protagonist usually has some reason not to listen to the expositor, because he doesn’t care or he doesn’t believe it.

No one really cares what King Lear has to say about his daughters’ treachery until Goneril and Regan turn on him and cut off his head onstage. And then it’s too late and everyone is dead anyway.

Exposition Through Text

Exposition is a fancy word for background information. When done well, exposition engages the reader in a way that makes them feel like they are part of the story, not just an outsider. 

It creates empathy with your character, and often takes on the form of inner monologue.

Exposition Through Text: Dialogue

Dialogue is one of the most powerful tools we have when it comes to exposition. It allows you to tell your readers all about your characters without boring them with long descriptions.

Dialogue and exposition go hand in hand. The great thing about this tool is that it creates natural pauses in your story.

Unlike long-winded descriptions, dialogue keeps your reader engaged and helps them visualize what’s happening in your story as it unfolds. Dialogue can be used in so many ways to move the plot forward and create character development.

You can use dialogue to expose internal conflicts and struggles, but also to reveal personality traits that help readers connect with certain characters or relate to them in some way.

Exposition Through Text: Narrative

Narrative is another great way of showing rather than telling your story. This technique works well for establishing exposition at the very beginning of a story because it gets straight to the point without giving away too much all at once. 

Exposition Through Voice Over

Exposition is a term commonly used in screenwriting. It refers to all of the information that needs to be conveyed to the audience regarding the setting and the characters, as well as exposition within the story itself.

A good example of exposition within a story is when a character makes an observation or asks a question that provides some background information or provides insight into what has happened previously. Another good example is when one character explains something to another character because they have missed something from earlier in the scene or film.

Exposition can be difficult for screenwriters because it slows down the action and drags out the pacing of the story.

For example, if you are watching a movie and a character has an emotional moment and then all of a sudden someone starts explaining everything that has happened up until this point in order for you to understand what is happening now, it really takes away from the emotion and excitement of the scene.

Exposition through voice over can help alleviate this problem by providing background information without slowing down the action onscreen. By incorporating voice over at key points in your screenplay, you can avoid dragging out your scenes and developing your characters while still providing ample exposition.

The Negatives Of Exposition

An exposition is a type of essay that is presented before the public debate. It is used by politicians and other celebrities to explain their point of view. It helps them to persuade the public that they are right.

Exposition is a speech or written work explaining or describing something. It may sound like a simple definition, but in reality, it is much more complicated than this.

The exposition is a very effective tool for persuading an audience. It explains ideas using logical arguments and examples.

It can be difficult to convince an audience with just words, so many people use exposition as a way to persuade others. A person who uses exposition to persuade an audience has to know what they are talking about and they have to make it interesting enough for others to want to listen.

The person must keep the reader’s attention and not bore them with too many details. If this is done correctly, then the person should be able to change their opinion in favor of the writer’s opinion.

This does not mean that all expositions succeed in persuading the reader; it means that if the essay persuades its reader, then it has been effective in its purpose.

The Positives Of Exposition

Exposition is the first stage in a good story. It sets up the characters and their world.

If you can’t hold your reader’s attention during exposition, then you risk losing them before your story even starts.

Exposition is a fact that writers have to tackle. For those unfamiliar with the term, exposition is defined as “an explanation or statement of facts or reasons.”

In fiction, this can be any kind of information about your characters or the setting that needs to be told to the reader.

Exposition can be tricky because it doesn’t involve action or dialogue so it can bore a reader if not done correctly. The trick to good exposition is making sure that while you are providing enough information to orient your reader, you don’t overdo it so much that they get bored and put your book down.

Below are some tips on how to write good exposition that will keep your reader hooked and make them want to keep reading:

Make sure to have an event occur right before the exposition. This wakes up your reader by involving them in the action right from the start of the story.

Make sure you grab your readers attention at once and give them a reason to care about what they are reading. 

The Power Of Exposition

Exposition isn’t just the first chapter of your novel. It’s also a powerful way to introduce your product or service and convince potential customers that it will solve their problems.

In this week’s Whiteboard Friday, we’ll look at why expositions are so effective, how you can use them in your copy, and some of the pitfalls you might encounter if you don’t use exposition wisely.

Exposition can be brief or lengthy. You can include it in one paragraph or spread it throughout several sections of your content. But whatever form it takes, exposition achieves these three important goals:

1. It provides a context for what you’re about to say 

2. It tells the audience what they need to know 

3. It moves people from unfamiliar territory (not knowing) to familiar territory (understanding)

Why Does Exposition Work?

Exposition works because humans are storytellers by nature. We’ve been telling stories since we were sitting around campfires millions of years ago.

And as much as we’ve changed since then, our brains still work in similar ways today.