Author Topic: Recap in a series  (Read 914 times)

Offline PPeterson

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Recap in a series
« on: October 11, 2021, 01:12:33 PM »
If you're writing a series that's set in a sci-fi or fantasy world, how much do you think you need to recap for each book?

When writing book 2, do you re-explain the more fantastic elements of the world, or do you assume that these are things the reader already knows? I suspect that, at the very least, you'll want to provide a bit of a refresher, but where's the line? You don't want readers to be confused, but you also don't want to tip over into tedium.

Offline vivaviolet

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Re: Recap in a series
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2021, 11:34:29 AM »
I love this question. I hope someone who knows what they're talking about answers it.

I've never written a series. As a reader, I feel that less recap is more. I often pick up number 2 of a series at the library, by mistake or because number 1 isn't available. I don't care much what happened in number 1--it's what is happening to the characters in number 2 that keeps me reading. I prefer the backstory tucked in quickly and sparingly at the points where the information is crucial to understanding the story, not dropped in as a prologue. In the event I have read number 1 first, I "skip recap" in number 2 and hop over anything I know. If I have read number 2 first and later go back and read number 1, I think, oh, cool, that's why that happened in number 2. I still enjoy both books, but probably not in the exact way the writer had intended.