Thread: Recaps
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:14 PM   #10
gmw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
That I do. Stuff like "Hey Alice this is just like that time when you ate that mushroom..."
Perhaps I should clarify my previous response: a recap can be a good thing when that background information is necessary to reader (ie. part of the same story arc). It should not be provided if that background is not critical (eg: new story is only loosely connected to the previous one - just a coincidence of characters and location).

It is curious to see where recaps have been used and where they haven't. The Harry Potter books don't, but then each story stands reasonably well on it's own and Rowling is clever at covering what background you need. The books of the various Thomas Covenant series by Stephen Donaldson each have a recap, while, curiously, The Gap series does not (and The Gap series is very much just one huge book published over five volumes). Early Riftwar Saga books have a recap, later ones do not.

The fact that you have had reviewers looking for a recap suggests to me that you might need one, or you might need to spend more time building such background details into your subsequent books. Again I look to comments I've seen on these forums from readers that intend to wait for a series to be completed rather be forced to wait between books - could a recap help to alleviate that problem? If so, then surely a few pages of effort would be worth it. And then the reverse question: what harm does it do? (Assuming you can keep it short.)
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