According to Leonard Bishop, author of Dare to be a Great Writer, exposition is a device for introducing characters, to provide setting, for creating tone, to explain ideas, to analyze background. Exposition should be immediately related to the event that causes its presence. The subject should be relevant to the circumstances, otherwise it is a distraction that does not contribute to the story.
The setting of a scene is used to support the action. Details that are unimportant to the action or to understanding the character or his motivation are also distractions that confuse the issue and dilute the impact of the scene.
Description should be visually logical -- first things first. From the size of a person to the face to the features. From the size of the room to colors and mood to furniture. From a panoramic view of a setting to a mid range view to close-up details.
So, let's talk about exposition, setting, description.
As always, any topic that will help us improve our writing is fair game in these discussions, so feel free to bring up any of your writing concerns.
The group No Whine, Just Champagne will meet here at this article for a live discussion about writing and the writing life on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:00pm ET (8pm CT, 7pm MT, 6pm PT). Hope to see you, but if you can't make it then, the discussion will continue during the days afterward, so please stop by and tell us what you think.