Finally, the last Friday of February! Not that I wish my life away like that; I don't. It's just that...well, this winter HAS been dragging on! I'm ready to stop draping thick, shapeless, warm things on in the morning. I feel like an amoeba.
So. This week, after several weeks of staring into space and plotting and staring into space some more, I tentatively jumped into my new WIP. I've been kind to myself, allowing a daily word count of 100 instead of my normal 1000. I'll ramp up once I get past this I'm-afraid-I-don't-know-the-dance-steps phase.
You know what I mean. Right? Choosing exactly the right place to begin the story. And actually...beginning.
What makes this even harder is that it's technically a "book two." A sequel, if you will. Or the second installment of a brilliant, eight-book series. (Well, not really. Then again, you never know.)
So there's that fine balance of "jumping right in" and "gently reminding the reader what happened last time." Without overwhelming him.
It's like the "Last week, on Star Trek: Voyager." And then you get a 30-second montage. Except, in the literary world, that's called an info-dump. And info-dumps are ugly.
Thus the quandary. How much is too much? Too little? How do I weave in the "remember this guy?" without sounding like a condescending narrator?
Honestly, books 2 and 3 of the Harry Potter series drove me nuts with this. I REMEMBERED who Harry was, what Hogswart was, and the whole backstory. I'm sure J.K.'s editor told her to do it, considering the age of the audience. But still. It bordered on ridiculous (and she's a fabulous writer).
So. All you authors-of-book-twos: How do you find your balance? Have you found starting a "book two" more challenging than a "book one"?
I'm hoping to write a lot this weekend, since Mr. A will be attending a conference (in town, but still gone most of the time). So pass along your writerly advice! I'll have lots of time to apply it.