Avoiding Infodumping in your Writing

(Updated 13 March 2014)

The best kind of writing is where everything is largely blackboxed and just works.

Consider the Star Wars universe for a moment.

Han Solo (and the viewers) don't need to know anything about the physics behind the Hyperdrive, other than it allows really fast interstellar travel and that there are some limitations to hyperdrives:

Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops, boy! Without precise calculations we could fly right through a star, or bounce too close to a supernova and that'd end your trip real quick, wouldn't it.
-Han Solo, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

In a generic military thriller novel; you don’t need to write how the top secret fighter went to Mach 7 in great detail. Try using the tremendous speed of Mach 7 as an aside, such as:

Thirty minutes after takeoff from the Florida Panhandle, he looked out the small window inset into his canopy and saw Newfoundland passing off to port.”

There’s no need to write about how awesome the turboramfanscramjet is that makes it possible; or the tremendous heat of travelling at Mach 7 – that’s all implied by traveling 2,400 miles in the time it takes to watch an Archer episode or the small window that’s his view of the world.