How do you deal with a situation where exposition seems necessary?
Let's say I was writing a novel set in the future, where it was legal to marry and have sex with animals (I'm not). How do you introduce something like that?
"Casual" details are usually my way to go. Say you have just a normal guy as a protagonist, and the he just enters his flat. Create an encounter with his neighbour, with or without the animal he is married to. Give a few sentences about him, which are meaningful enough.
"It was a letter from the city vet. "For Rex Dunphy", it said. I wondered what was wrong with him. Joe and Rex have been married for almost a year now, but they were living together, in this block, way before any of us current neigbours moved in. Way before the new laws have paseed. Everyone always loved Rex, no dog fetched like him. Joe always came out a bit weird, but we learned to like him. They threw a big party once they got married, invited the entire building and all. Rex bought the fanciest belt. Happy times."
>He turned off his alarm clock, got dressed, and went outside for his usual contemplative morning walk. The first thing that met him as he stepped out of the door was the singing of birds.
> by the way, you can marry and have sex with animals in this universe, jest lettin u know. but the birds are not usually the preferred choice. God I hate liberalism
Casual details are more sophisticated and lend to better world building, but you have to ask yourself what you value more - an immersive experience or an interesting narrative voice.
In OPs example, it could be done as >>7567448 has done it, or it could be done in a more narrative-oriented focus like
"Joe went back to his flat and kissed his wife who was a cat. Yeah, this is the future - they marry animals now."
This narrative-focus is definitely more popular.
and done well in books like The Martian
I'm not OP my man. Just shared my way of writing with him.
I don't think the narrative-focus is more popular, but it depends on what period of time we are talking about. Also, a good balance between the two is always good. When a writed just gived you everything through casual "showing" of the world it can get tiering. Same when he just tells you about everything without feeling the world for yourself. Mixture is good.
And yet just about anything written before 1970 has loads of exposition.